As the number of cases of coronavirus increased last fall and the world wanted a vaccine, health experts feared that the combination of influenza and Covid-19 could lead to a catastrophic “cold.” rice field.
Pandemic measures seemed to keep the flu away, but experts are still concerned this year, especially as some national and state authorities withdraw the blockade rules. Many officials and experts urge the general public to: Do not deny the risk of influenza and seek an influenza vaccine.
Dr. William Schaffner, Medical Director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, said: “It can further strain the already abnormally stretched, tense and bone-tired health care system.”
The United States works on an average of more than 160,000 new coronavirus cases daily. The hospital and intensive care unit are full of Covid-19 patients. At the same time, mask obligations and social distance have been relaxed in some places. This means that infectious respiratory diseases can spread more easily than last year.
Dr. Schaffner warned that healthcare providers need to remind people about the flu. “I have to say,’There is another nasty respiratory virus, don’t blow it away.'”
This flu season is different.
In the United States, influenza activity in the 2020-21 season has been significantly lower than in previous influenza seasons, at least since 1997. This is where the data was first published.
Scientists said pandemic prophylaxis was most likely to have played a role, as many people adopted masking, social distance, and hand-washing habits.
Dr. Patrick Jackson, an infectious disease expert at the University of Virginia, said: “The willingness of people to wear masks and wash their hands regularly may help us move forward, and we really hope it becomes a story.”
Experts hope that these actions will be carried over to the next flu season, especially as more people return to public transport, restaurants, schools and offices.
However, the United States and many other countries have not unified how to confront a pandemic, and some have stopped taking preventative measures.
This can be an additional burden for hospitals that are already treating large numbers of Covid patients.
“Given our politics, the Covid / flu surge will be unevenly distributed in the medical system,” said Dr. Jackson.
Who should get the flu vaccine when?
Lynnette Brammer, leader of the CDC’s national influenza surveillance team, said the relatively low number of influenza cases in the last 18 months could mean that the population’s immunity to influenza is lower than this season. Stated.
And while it’s not yet clear how the seasons unfold, mitigation of pandemic measures in some places “is likely to lead to a resumption of the flu season cycle,” she said. I added.
“All this could prepare us for a potentially serious flu season,” she added.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the season begins in October and can last until May. In the Southern Hemisphere, it usually occurs from April to September.
The CDC advises everyone over 6 months of age to take shots, with a few exceptions. Vaccination is especially important for some groups of people, including people with underlying health, the elderly, and toddlers, Brammer said.
Experts recommend vaccination from September to the end of October, as it takes about two weeks after vaccination to be effective, but it is better to be vaccinated after that. ..
Even those who were vaccinated against the flu last year will need another vaccine this year, as the virus mutates and requires a new vaccine each year, they said. In any season, vaccines are tailored to the type (often) of the influenza virus that is or is most likely to be epidemic.
Do I still need the flu vaccine if I have been vaccinated with Covid?
Yes, one does not protect from the other. Vaccines are intended to target specific viruses. Influenza vaccines target the influenza virus, just as the Covid-19 vaccine is manufactured for the coronavirus.
This means that some people have taken early and booster shots of the coronavirus and will be vaccinated against the flu this year.
“There is a feeling of vaccine fatigue there,” said Dr. Schaffner. “But when we’re backing, we’ll have to tell people,’Oh, you need something else.’
Can I get the flu vaccine and the Covid vaccine on the same visit?
Yes. CDC says the vaccine may be It is given regardless of the timing of other vaccines.
According to the CDC, the side effects of the vaccines given at the same time and alone are generally similar.
“Not only is it possible, but we strongly recommend that you be vaccinated against both influenza and Covid,” said Dr. Kevin Ban, Chief Medical Officer at Walgreens.
Vaccines received at the same time do not cause a cumulative response, Dr. LJ Tan, Chief Policy and Partnership Officer of the Coalition for Immunization Action, said in an interview. “I’m not adding it.”
He said the general reaction to the flu vaccine could be arm pain and some people could get a little tired.
When vaccinated against influenza and the Covid-19 vaccine at the same time, experts recommend using different arms to avoid pain, or at least 1 inch between injection sites at each injection site. To do.
Understand Vaccine and Mask Obligations in the United States
- Vaccine rules.. On August 23, the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval of Pfizer BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for people over the age of 16 paving the way for increased obligations in both the public and private sectors. rice field. Private companies are increasingly requiring employees to vaccinate. Such obligations are legally permitted and are upheld in court opposition.
- Mask rule.. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in July masked indoor public places in areas where outbreaks are occurring, which is the opposite of the guidance provided in May by all Americans, regardless of vaccination status. It was recommended to wear. Find out where the CDC guidance applies and where the state has developed its own mask policy. In some states, the mask dispute is controversial, and some local leaders oppose the state’s ban.
- University. More than 400 universities require students to be vaccinated with Covid-19. Almost all are in the states that voted for President Biden.
- school.. Both California and New York City have introduced vaccine obligations to their education staff. According to a survey released in August, many American parents with school-aged children oppose the mandatory vaccines for their students, but mask for students, teachers, and staff who do not have shots. Supported the obligation of.
- Hospitals and medical centers.. Many hospitals and major healthcare systems require employees to be vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine. This is due to the increased number of cases caused by the Delta variant and the low stubborn vaccination rate in the community, even within employees.
- New York City.. Indoor meals, gymnasiums, performances and other indoor situations require proof of vaccination for workers and customers, but enforcement will not begin until September 13. Teachers and other educational workers in the city’s vast school system must be vaccinated with at least one vaccine. Administered by September 27, without weekly test options. Municipal hospital workers also need to be vaccinated or have weekly tests. Employees in New York have similar rules.
- At the federal level. The Pentagon has announced that it will mandate coronavirus vaccination of 1.3 million active troops in the country by mid-September. President Biden …