With ‘Twindemic’ Looming, 2 out of 5 Americans Plan to Skip Flu Shot

By Dennis ThompsonHealthDay Reporter THURSDAY, Oct. one, 2020 (HealthDay Information) Irrespective of a potential looming…

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. one, 2020 (HealthDay Information)

Irrespective of a potential looming “twindemic” of influenza and COVID-19, about 2 in 5 U.S. grown ups do not program to get a flu shot, a new survey reveals.

Only fifty nine% of grown ups surveyed mentioned they will get the influenza vaccine in the course of the 2020-2021 flu season, in accordance to results unveiled Thursday by the Countrywide Basis for Infectious Illnesses.

That is up a bit from the fifty two% who prepared to get a flu shot in 2019, but nowhere close to more than enough to stave off the potential for overlapping flu and COVID-19 epidemics, mentioned Dr. William Schaffner, the NFID’s clinical director.

“We in the infectious disease community have been conversing about a probably ‘double-barreled’ respiratory virus season, when flu and COVID-19 converge,” Schaffner mentioned. “There’s a serious hazard that even if we only have a moderate flu season, we could be in for a rough few months forward.”

The popular reluctance to get the flu shot is puzzling, he mentioned, simply because other results from the NFID survey display that Individuals do know the stakes this flu season:

  • 68% agree that the flu vaccine is the finest preventive measure against flu-linked fatalities and hospitalizations, up from sixty one% in 2019.
  • 28% say the COVID-19 pandemic has manufactured them extra probably to seek out out the flu shot.
  • The share of persons who imagine flu shots are ineffective has plummeted to 34%, down from fifty one% a yr ago.

But a major amount of persons at best hazard for becoming severely ill and dying from possibly influenza or COVID-19 program to skip a flu shot this yr, the survey showed.

“Flu can exacerbate underlying problems and guide to everyday living-threatening problems like coronary heart attack, stroke, permanent actual physical decrease, pneumonia, hospitalizations and even dying,” mentioned Dr. Federico Asch, an assistant professor of cardiology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. “People with diabetes or coronary heart disease are most vulnerable and want the additional safety to their immune technique.”

Asch noted that research have proven that grown ups with coronary heart disease have a sixfold increased hazard for coronary heart attack inside of a 7 days of having the flu. The hazard of flu-linked hospitalization for grown ups with diabetes is also six times larger, and grown ups with diabetes are three times extra probably to die of flu-linked problems.

Nevertheless, 22% of persons in higher-hazard teams for flu-linked problems program to skip the flu shot this yr, the survey reveals.

Black persons are considerably extra unwilling than other people to get vaccinated, survey results discovered. About sixty two% of Black grown ups mentioned they have been possibly not certain or do not program to get a shot. In contrast, fifty nine% of white grown ups and sixty five% of Hispanic grown ups mentioned they will get the shot.

The U.S. Facilities for Disorder Command and Prevention approximated that about fifty two% of persons 6 months and more mature have been vaccinated in the course of the 2019-2020 flu season.

Final season, flu vaccines prevented seven.5 million situations of flu, 3.seven million flu-connected clinical visits, one zero five,000 hospitalizations and 6,300 fatalities, the CDC mentioned.

It estimates there have been 38 million situations of flu past season, along with eighteen million linked clinical visits, 400,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 fatalities.

Individuals need to go get their flu shot now, Schaffner mentioned.

“Oct is the golden month. Let us do that ideal now,” he mentioned. “Let us not procrastinate.”

The flu shot is the finest way to steer clear of a twindemic, but the other steps that have been place into area could also assistance, mentioned Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. Countrywide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Illnesses.

Final flu season ended abruptly, weeks previously than usual simply because of quarantine steps instituted at the start out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC has documented.



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“Ways to stop the flu and COVID-19 overlap enormously,” Fauci mentioned. “We really don’t want people two diseases jointly, but some of the good news is that the usually practiced community well being steps are good for the two of these.”

Those steps contain sporting masks, social distancing, steering clear of indoor gatherings, regular hand-washing, and not touching your eyes, nose and mouth, he mentioned.

The Southern Hemisphere, the place flu season operates from April as a result of August, reveals the potential impression of these protecting actions.

“Mainly because the Australians in the Southern Hemisphere did quite a few of these factors, they had a pretty, pretty light flu season,” Fauci mentioned.

However, the United States is getting into the flu season in the course of an ongoing press to reopen educational facilities and companies shuttered in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, noted Dr. Daniel Jernigan, director of the Influenza Division at the CDC’s Countrywide Centre for Immunization and Respiratory Illnesses.

“I really don’t imagine we can depend on the major lower that we observed in the Southern Hemisphere, simply because I imagine we will be viewing some lessening of some of people limitations in the United States,” he mentioned. “We just have to be on guard and acquire flu out of equation this yr by having the vaccine.”

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References

Resources: William Schaffner, M.D., clinical director, Countrywide Basis for Infectious Illnesses Federico Asch, M.D., assistant professor, cardiology, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. Anthony Fauci, M.D., director, U.S. Countrywide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Illnesses Daniel Jernigan, M.D., M.P.H., director, Influenza Division, U.S. Facilities for Disorder Command and Prevention, Countrywide Centre for Immunization and Respiratory Illnesses