Rome, 21 April (beraking latest news Health) – Vaccinations and maintenance of personal protective equipment ‘winning formula’ to combat the flu. In the winter of 2020-2021, the flu practically did not exist: the incidence never reached the epidemic threshold and, since the start of surveillance, just over 2 million Italians were affected, compared to over 7 in the last season. Situation that has avoided further burdening the hospitals, already burdened by the weight of the pandemic, and which is most likely due to the increase in flu vaccinations and the restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, which suggests continuing on this road without loosening the preventive measures.
In fact, on 8 April the Ministry of Health has already issued its recommendations for the prevention and control of influenza 2021-2022. The circular recommends compliance with the usual personal protection measures, useful for reducing the transmission of the flu virus such as: wash your hands regularly, stay at home if you have symptoms attributable to flu diseases, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth and use surgical masks if flu symptoms occur, avoid contact with sick people by maintaining a physical distance of at least one meter and avoid crowded places.
“In this way, while waiting for the Covid-19 pandemic to gradually weaken also thanks to an increasingly tight vaccination campaign – says virologist Fabrizio Pregliasco, scientific director of the influenza Observatory – it is hoped to be able to contain the flu virus and prevent it from overlapping Covid-19 by adding flu to coronavirus hospitalizations, further adding to the situation in hospitals “.
However, the Ministry of Health reiterates that the most effective form of prevention is still the flu vaccination. In this regard, since next season’s flu vaccination campaign will still be marked by the pandemic emergency from Covid-19, the indications already dictated for this year have been confirmed. In particular, like the previous circular currently in force, vaccination will be strongly recommended and will also be offered free of charge to the 60-64 age group, in order to facilitate the differential diagnosis in the age groups at greater risk of serious disease.
Given the current pandemic situation, it will also be necessary to bring the flu vaccination campaign forward in early October. And, similarly to last year, the measure will recommend vaccination in the 6 months-6 years age group, also in order to reduce the circulation of the flu virus between adults and the elderly.
Vaccination, in the face of the persistence of the pandemic, will finally require a focus on health and social health workers who work in contact with patients, for which the obligation to vaccinate against Covid has just started, and on the elderly institutionalized in residential or long-term care facilities. . Among the other priority categories, in addition to the elderly over 65 (who remain the category most affected by both Covid-19 and the flu and most subject to the risk of complications, sometimes even serious), also pregnant women and people with pathologies such as diabetes, hypertension, HIV / AIDS, asthma.