With flu season again in swing, Canadians are inspired to get their annual flu shot. This year’s influenza vaccine rollout may be extra essential than ever, specialists say.
“One factor that we’d like to keep in mind is that as a result of there have been fewer influenza infections during the last two years due to the COVID-19 restrictions, … the inhabitants, in normal, is (now) extra inclined to influenza,” Dr. Jesse Papenburg, Montreal-based pediatric infectious illness specialist, advised CTV’s Your Morning on Monday.
“So I feel that this year, we should always count on to see numerous influenza infections and the easiest way to defend your self towards getting an an infection and towards getting extreme illness is to get vaccinated towards influenza this fall.”
Relatively low circulation of the flu over the previous two years places younger kids at larger danger than typical of catching it this fall and winter, specialists warned final week. They additionally worry fewer pandemic measures and decreased vaccination uptake will lead to additional virus unfold.
Necessary pandemic measures to restrict COVID-19 unfold led to simply 69 lab-confirmed flu instances throughout the 2020-2021 season and solely sporadic instances in 2021-2022, in accordance to a latest replace from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, which advises the Public Health Agency of Canada on vaccine use.
This year’s flu shots will coincide with the rollout of bivalent COVID-19 vaccines that concentrate on Omicron strains.
According to Papenburg, each vaccines will be safely taken collectively.
“You can get each the COVID-19 shot and the influenza vaccine concomitantly, on the identical time, or you will get it inside a sure variety of weeks. It would not matter,” he stated.
“It’s been proven to be protected and efficient when it is given on the identical time or at completely different occasions.”
Papenburg says that flu dangers are particularly excessive this year for youthful kids underneath 5 and two, adults over the age of 65, pregnant girls and anybody with sure power medical situations involving their lungs, coronary heart or immune system.
Pointing to Australia’s latest flu season final summer time, which was thought of one in all its worst flu seasons in historical past and which started sooner than typical, Papenburg warns of an analogous state of affairs in Canada.
“I’ve no purpose to consider that in Canada, we’re going to escape it. I feel we’re gonna (see) no less than common ranges of influenza exercise this year, if not larger.”
With recordsdata from The Canadian Press