“The protective reflexes acquired during the Covid are also valid against the flu”, recalls a professor of virology

Will the flu be back this winter? Like the health authorities, the professor of virology at the Lyon University Hospital, Bruno Lina, is worried on Friday October 7 on franceinfo that the flu virus is circulating “more easily and more intensely” this winter because of a “herd immunity” less efficient. It calls for using “protective reflexes acquired during the Covid”.

franceinfo: Why are we worried today about the return of the flu this winter?

Bruno Lina: We have no indicators that allow us to know if there will be an epidemic this winter. On the other hand, we know that since the coronavirus, the circulation of all respiratory viruses has been turned upside down. However, there is an epidemic normally every year with the flu virus. In the two preceding winters, these epidemics did not occur. And one of the hypotheses that should make us think is that an influenza epidemic is brought under control when there is collective immunity acquired by the regular circulation of the virus. So the question we ask ourselves: as the circulation of the flu has decreased over the past two winters, is our protection system less good and will the virus circulate more easily and more intensely? ?

Which means that the flu will only affect the most vulnerable or that it will be as severe in healthy people?

We are simply talking about a number of cases. Obviously it is always the most fragile who are the most vulnerable. These people have a high intrinsic risk. As the number of infected is likely to be greater, there will be a greater number of serious forms as well.

“We must therefore take a series of measures to avoid all this. Already saying that all the reflexes that we have acquired with the Covid are also valid for prevention against the flu virus.”

Bruno Lina, professor of virology

at franceinfo

Vaccination, which will begin on October 18, is a pillar in the fight against serious forms of the flu. Without forgetting the ventilation of closed places, good hand hygiene, and not going to see others when you are sick. I know it’s always a bit complicated to tell people to wear a mask.

And can we do the flu vaccine at the same time as the Covid one?

Yes, there are no contraindications. You can do both at the same time. One in each arm. If you don’t want to do them on the same day, you can space them out. It’s up to you: there is no interaction between the two vaccines. Most importantly, risk groups like the over 60s and the over 80s should get vaccinated against flu and coronavirus.

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