health authorities are preparing for a more severe epidemic this winter

The seasonal flu vaccination campaign is due to begin on October 18 in mainland France, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Guyana. It has already started in Mayotte.

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The flu epidemic threatens to be particularly virulent this winter. The flu kills between 2 and 8 million people in France each year with its well-known symptoms (malaise, body aches, fever, headache, cough, rhinitis and irritated throat). But this year, it worries specialists.

>> Health: is our immune system weaker since the Covid-19 epidemic?

Epidemiologist Jean-Daniel Lelièvre, head of the infectious diseases department at Henri-Mondor Hospital, gives three reasons: There have been very few vaccinations in previous years. So immunity tends to drop in the general population. Then, we use the mask much less, we pay less attention. And then, if we look a little at what is happening in the southern hemisphere, we see that the forms are more severe”.

The flu is circulating first in thehemisphere south before arriving here in France. However, currently in Australia, the number of contaminations is much higher than in previous years.

“There shouldn’t be another pandemic”said the Minister of Health François Braun in an interview granted on October 2 to the regional daily West France. France is indeed facing a resurgence of the epidemic of Covid-19. The booster campaign with vaccines bivalent suitable for Omicron variant a started the 3rd of October. It has also been advanced because of the significant increase in the number of contaminations. It was to start at the same time as the flu vaccination campaign, in ten days.

As of October 18, vulnerable people will also be able to get vaccinated against the seasonal flu. It is possible to get vaccinated “simultaneously” against the two viruses, underlines François Braun and more generally the health authorities. “Uno injection in each arm”, specifies the High Authority for Health (HAS). The vaccination campaign anti-influenza will end on November 15.

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