October 27, 2021

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C.D.C. Urges Flu Pictures to Scale back Pressure on Well being Care System

C.D.C. Urges Flu Shots to Reduce Strain on Health Care System

Lockdowns helped maintain final 12 months’s flu season traditionally gentle in each the US and around the globe, however U.S. officers concern a extra critical season this fall and winter, with unmasked folks out and about way more, and practically half of adults in a brand new survey saying they’re unlikely to get a flu shot.

At a information briefing to launch the survey data on Thursday morning, high well being specialists mentioned they had been significantly involved that, with the coronavirus nonetheless coursing across the nation, practically one in 4 folks at larger threat for flu-related issues indicated they didn’t intend to get the flu vaccine.

Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, head of the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, famous that whereas specialists didn’t but understand how severely the flu would hit the US this fall, different respiratory infections had already returned, together with RSV, a standard explanation for pneumonia and bronchitis in infants and a critical risk to older adults. The C.D.C.’s latest weekly flu report exhibits that just one state, Wyoming, had reached a “reasonable” degree of flu instances.

As a result of the flu was nearly nonexistent final 12 months, Dr. Walensky famous, folks do not need the protecting immunity they may have acquired if that they had gotten sick, and he or she urged that everybody age 6 months and older be vaccinated. “The Covid-19 pandemic just isn’t over, and the risk of both flu and Covid-19 circulating might put extra pressure on hospitals and frontline well being care professionals,” she mentioned.

The survey was commissioned by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, a nonprofit group. Its medical director, Dr. William Schaffner, mentioned that general vulnerability to flu might be larger this 12 months, “with relaxed Covid-19 mitigation methods, elevated journey and the reopening of faculties.”

For the survey, greater than 1,110 respondents 18 and older from all 50 states and the District of Columbia answered questions in mid-August that explored attitudes concerning the flu; Covid-19; pneumococcal disease, which may trigger pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis; and vaccination intentions.

The solutions revealed a rigidity between beliefs concerning the worth of the flu vaccination and the intention to get one: 61 % of respondents agreed {that a} shot was the most effective safety towards the flu, however 44 % mentioned they had been both not sure whether or not they would get one or didn’t intend to take action.

The coronavirus pandemic, nevertheless, has had a constructive impact on behaviors that might assist reduce the impression of the flu. Practically half of these surveyed mentioned that due to the pandemic, they had been extra more likely to keep dwelling from work or faculty in the event that they had been sick, and 54 % mentioned they’d put on a masks at the very least generally in the course of the flu season.

However there have been racial disparities: 73 % of Black respondents and 62 % of Latinos mentioned they’d put on a masks throughout flu season, in contrast with solely 46 % of white respondents. Black and Latino respondents had been additionally extra more likely to be nervous about being contaminated with Covid and the flu concurrently than white respondents.

Patsy Stinchfield, a nurse practitioner at Children’s Minnesota, a pediatric well being care system, and the president-elect of the infectious illness basis, mentioned that it was protected for folks to get flu and Covid pictures — together with boosters — on the identical time.

The survey confirmed that the general flu vaccination charge final 12 months held regular over the 12 months earlier than, at about 52 %. However Dr. Walensky criticized what she known as a “disparity hole” by race in flu vaccination: 56 % for white folks versus 43 % amongst Black folks.

Dr. Walensky additionally raised alarms a few decline within the flu vaccination charges amongst younger youngsters, to 59 % from 64 % the 12 months earlier than. In the 2019-2020 season, she mentioned, 199 youngsters died from the flu, about 80 % of whom weren’t vaccinated.

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