published on Monday, November 22, 2021 at 5.30 p.m.

The first phase of the seasonal flu vaccination campaign was less followed than last year according to figures from the Order of Pharmacists, revealed by Franceinfo.

If the third booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine for all adults becomes more precise every day, the flu vaccine is little talked about. However, the vaccination is open to all from this Monday, November 22.

But the vaccination campaign is struggling to take off. According to figures from the Order of Pharmacists, published by Franceinfo, as of November 19, only 5.6 million influenza vaccines have been withdrawn from pharmacies while 15 million people were previously a priority: over 65s, pregnant women, patients suffering from serious pathologies. This is less than in 2020, when, during the same period, 6.7 million influenza vaccines had been withdrawn from pharmacies by priority people, but better than in 2019 however.

Few flu in 2020

Like the bronchiolitis that has saturated pediatric services for several weeks now, we fear an upsurge in influenza this year. “There is a strong influenza epidemic every 10 years or so and then for a few years it calms down afterwards. Last year there was indeed little flu, as there was extremely little nasopharyngitis or of colds. This is certainly the effect of the barrier measures “, explained to Franceinfo Jacques Battistoni, president of the union of general practitioners MG France. “There was a year when we had 17,000 deaths linked to an influenza epidemic, so we have to be careful, it is a virus that can be very dangerous”, adds Gilles Bonnefond, spokesperson for the Union. dispensary pharmacists union, always on Franceinfo.

An outbreak of influenza, in addition to the Covid-19 and bronchiolitis epidemics would be extremely distressing for a hospital already in crisis. “The hospital is in a difficult situation. Today, it is not the Covid patients”, detailed Monday on France Inter Martin Hirsch citing seasonal flu or seasonal childhood illnesses like bronchiolitis. “Forecasts are extremely difficult to make today,” he warned.

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Lack of natural immunity this year?

Unpredictable, the flu could be more virulent this year because of its low level of circulation last year. “The High Authority for Health (HAS) recalls in this regard that the absence of natural immunity acquired in 2020-2021 could increase the risk of transmission of the influenza virus, especially among those most at risk. This is why , the stake of this new campaign is to protect the most vulnerable and to reinforce the vaccination of the carers “, underlines the government in a press release published in October” The flu, it is not because one does not speak about it any more that the flu is gone “

“The flu is a respiratory infection that can lead to serious complications in people at risk, such as pneumonia or the worsening of an already existing chronic disease (diabetes, heart or respiratory failure, etc.)”, notes the Ministry of Solidarity and Health. The government is encouraging vulnerable populations to receive the third dose against Covid-19 and the seasonal flu vaccine at the same time.

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