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Health & Fitness Why the Patina flu vaccination campaign?

20:00  22 november  2022
20:00  22 november  2022 Source:   lexpress.fr

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While the first clusters appear in Brittany, the vaccination campaign has lagged behind 18% of doses distributed compared to last year, threatening France with a virulent epidemic.

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There are 18.3% less to have been vaccinated against seasonal flu, compared to last year at the same period. Thirty-two days after the launch of the antigrippal vaccination campaign (on November 18), around 7 million doses were distributed, compared to 8.6 million last year, according to data collected from 14,000 French pharmacies (on 20,000) by the company IQVIA, specialist in health data .

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In press releases, the two main pharmacist unions, the USPO and the FSPF, sound the alarm on this delay which could cause an "particularly intense" epidemic this winter. However, time is counted: "There are already flu clusters in the west of France, especially in Brittany", points out Pierre-Olivier Variot, president of the USPO and pharmacist union near Dijon, joined by L’Express.

Factors that are accumulated and causes a delay

according to him, it is an accumulation of factors that causes this delay. "First the weather was mild, people did not feel that we were going back in the winter, so they felt the need to be vaccinated," he said. Another catch, technique, this time: "This year target audiences received their good early for vaccination, about 1 and a half months before the start of the campaign. They came to see us, we sent them home Then they forgot. The ideal would be for the organization to be closer, so that people can recover their vaccine in pharmacy upon reception of the good and have it in front of them in their fridge, "he said.

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Last factor, "many people wanted to kill two strokes with one stone by asking for a double vaccination flu-Cavid 19, with the new recall adapted to the variant. About 90% of people who came to be vaccinated against the covid in my pharmacy Last week also came for the flu. But unlike the flu, you have to make an appointment for the covid vaccine, which was able to shift vaccination of a few weeks ".

The epidemic could be more dangerous than in previous years

to this is added for professionals a tendency to always minimize the gravity of the flu, especially among fragile audiences over 65 years of age. "The flu is an unpredictable virus which can cause severe or even fatal complications (between 10,000 and 15,000 deaths each year) in fragile people, and aggravates a chronic disease already present", recalls the union in its press release .

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This year, the risk could be even greater. "Fragile audiences have been very little exposed to viruses in the past two years, thanks to confinements and barriers that have now disappeared. This also means that they have not developed antibodies and that their immunity is low , and therefore that the virus could be particularly violent for them, "points Pierre-Olivier Variot. "Additional reason which vaccination is important this winter," he concludes.

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The delay is still catastrous, such a disaster is avoidable in France according to the pharmacist. "What is essential is that the state and health insurance communicate better on the need to be vaccinated, as they did for the covid," he said.

Sunday, November 20, the Minister of Health François Braun assured RTL that the health system could "endure the arrival of the flu if everyone puts hers and if the most fragile people are vaccinated". "Our hospital system is already out of breath and personnel. It would be good to protect it from this epidemic thanks to the vaccine by vaccinating a maximum, even the populations not particularly at risk, since we have the means," reacts the President of the union.

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