By Dennis Thompson
THURSDAY, Oct. one, 2020 (HealthDay Information)
Even with a probable looming “twindemic” of influenza and COVID-19, about 2 in five U.S. older people do not program to get a flu shot, a new survey reveals.
Only 59% of older people surveyed stated they will get the influenza vaccine throughout the 2020-2021 flu year, in accordance to results introduced Thursday by the Nationwide Foundation for Infectious Health conditions.
Which is up slightly from the fifty two% who planned to get a flu shot in 2019, but nowhere in close proximity to ample to stave off the probable for overlapping flu and COVID-19 epidemics, stated Dr. William Schaffner, the NFID’s health care director.
“We in the infectious sickness community have been speaking about a likely ‘double-barreled’ respiratory virus year, when flu and COVID-19 converge,” Schaffner stated. “There’s a genuine possibility that even if we only have a average flu year, we could be in for a tough number of months ahead.”
The widespread reluctance to get the flu shot is puzzling, he stated, due to the fact other results from the NFID survey exhibit that Us residents do know the stakes this flu year:
- 68% agree that the flu vaccine is the finest preventive evaluate against flu-relevant deaths and hospitalizations, up from 61% in 2019.
- 28% say the COVID-19 pandemic has produced them extra probably to request out the flu shot.
- The proportion of folks who consider flu photographs are ineffective has plummeted to 34%, down from 51% a 12 months ago.
But a significant number of folks at maximum possibility for starting to be critically ill and dying from possibly influenza or COVID-19 program to skip a flu shot this 12 months, the survey showed.
“Flu can exacerbate underlying circumstances and lead to life-threatening complications like coronary heart assault, stroke, long-lasting bodily drop, pneumonia, hospitalizations and even dying,” stated Dr. Federico Asch, an assistant professor of cardiology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. “People with diabetic issues or coronary heart sickness are most vulnerable and will need the extra protection to their immune method.”
Asch noted that research have shown that older people with coronary heart sickness have a sixfold amplified possibility for coronary heart assault in a 7 days of acquiring the flu. The possibility of flu-relevant hospitalization for older people with diabetic issues is also six situations larger, and older people with diabetic issues are three situations extra probably to die of flu-relevant complications.
However, 22% of folks in large-possibility teams for flu-relevant complications program to skip the flu shot this 12 months, the survey reveals.
Black folks are far extra unwilling than other individuals to get vaccinated, survey results exposed. About sixty two% of Black older people stated they had been possibly not absolutely sure or do not program to get a shot. In contrast, 59% of white older people and 65% of Hispanic older people stated they will get the shot.
The U.S. Centers for Sickness Regulate and Avoidance estimated that about fifty two% of folks six months and more mature had been vaccinated throughout the 2019-2020 flu year.
Very last year, flu vaccines prevented seven.five million scenarios of flu, three.seven million flu-connected health care visits, 105,000 hospitalizations and six,three hundred deaths, the CDC stated.
It estimates there had been 38 million scenarios of flu past year, alongside with eighteen million relevant health care visits, four hundred,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths.
Men and women should go get their flu shot now, Schaffner stated.
“Oct is the golden month. Let us do that right now,” he stated. “Let us not procrastinate.”
The flu shot is the finest way to stay away from a twindemic, but the other steps that have been put into spot could also aid, stated Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Health conditions.
Very last flu year finished abruptly, months before than normal due to the fact of quarantine steps instituted at the get started of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC has described.
“Actions to avert the flu and COVID-19 overlap considerably,” Fauci stated. “We do not want all those two ailments collectively, but some of the excellent information is that the typically practiced community health and fitness steps are excellent for both of these.”
All those steps contain carrying masks, social distancing, averting indoor gatherings, regular hand-washing, and not touching your eyes, nose and mouth, he stated.
The Southern Hemisphere, where by flu year runs from April by means of August, reveals the probable affect of these protecting measures.
“Because the Australians in the Southern Hemisphere did a lot of of these things, they had a extremely, extremely mild flu year,” Fauci stated.
Regrettably, the United States is getting into the flu year throughout an ongoing drive to reopen schools and enterprises shuttered throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, noted Dr. Daniel Jernigan, director of the Influenza Division at the CDC’s Nationwide Centre for Immunization and Respiratory Health conditions.
“I do not consider we can depend on the significant minimize that we noticed in the Southern Hemisphere, due to the fact I consider we will be looking at some lessening of some of all those restrictions in the United States,” he stated. “We just have to be on guard and acquire flu out of equation this 12 months by acquiring the vaccine.”
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Sources: William Schaffner, M.D., health care director, Nationwide Foundation for Infectious Health conditions Federico Asch, M.D., assistant professor, cardiology, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. Anthony Fauci, M.D., director, U.S. Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Health conditions Daniel Jernigan, M.D., M.P.H., director, Influenza Division, U.S. Centers for Sickness Regulate and Avoidance, Nationwide Centre for Immunization and Respiratory Health conditions