The flu vaccination campaign begins in France

France launched its annual seasonal flu vaccination campaign on Friday, October 22, in a particularly uncertain context, because it is still marked by the Covid-19 epidemic.

“The flu could be strong this year because we didn’t have it last year, explained Olivier Véran, the Minister of Health, Friday on BFM-TV. I really appeal to French people aged 65 or over, or French people with chronic illnesses, or caregivers who are six months away from their last injection [de vaccin anti-Covid], receive a reminder. Again, it is free at the center or at the pharmacist. “

From Friday, the French can therefore be vaccinated for free against the seasonal flu if they are part of the categories that are recommended to do so. These are mainly people over 65 and pregnant women, but also people with certain pathologies: asthma, diabetes, heart failure, AIDS, etc. All caregivers are also concerned.

This launch concerns vaccination for independent people, who can request it from their doctor or a pharmacist. In accommodation establishments for dependent elderly people (Ehpad), the campaign has already started on Monday.

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Kill two birds with one stone

The government intends to take advantage of the flu vaccination to breathe new life into that against the coronavirus, while French people at risk can be injected with a booster dose of anti-Covid vaccine since the beginning of September. Gold, “The same people are at risk of serious Covid and severe flu”, recalled Jérome Salomon, director general of health, Thursday during a press conference.

The health authorities therefore want to kill two birds with one stone. Concretely, it will be possible – and even encouraged – to receive at the same time his third dose of anti-Covid vaccine and his flu vaccine: one shot per arm.

Successive confinements and barrier measures to fight the epidemic had then reduced the circulation of other viruses, starting with that of influenza. On the flip side, the low circulation of viruses last winter probably reduced the population’s immunity.

“After two years of Covid, two years without the flu, we must prepare for ‘circulation'” viruses of Covid-19, bronchiolitis and seasonal flu, concluded Mr. Salomon, emphasizing the importance of barrier gestures. The government has, in any case, taken its precautions by ordering more flu shots than last year.

The World with AFP

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