Influenza vaccination avoids the risk of Covid-19 co-infection in the elderly – VnExpress

Adequate flu vaccination helps to avoid the possibility of illness, mortality, and complications in the elderly group with many underlying medical conditions.

According to CKI Bach Thi Chinh, Medical Director of the VNVC Immunization System, elderly people with weakened immune systems and low resistance are susceptible to respiratory diseases, including influenza. Elderly people with influenza will experience many dangerous complications, affecting lung function, causing respiratory failure.

The elderly are the subjects that need to be given priority to get the flu vaccine.

Influenza vaccination reduces mortality by 70-80%

US CDC statistics show that about 70-85% of seasonal flu-related deaths occur in people 65 years of age and older, and about 50-70% of hospitalizations are related to seasonal flu. occurred in this group.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), influenza vaccination has been shown to reduce influenza mortality by 70-80%, prevent complications, reduce influenza-related illness by 60%, reduce hospitalization rates for comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or immunodeficiency syndromes. People who have been vaccinated with the flu will have milder symptoms, shorter illness, and less risk of death than people who have not been vaccinated.

Doctor Bach Thi Chinh said that seasonal flu is a serious illness for the elderly, especially those aged 65 and older, who are in poor health, have underlying medical conditions, or are chronically ill. Therefore, the seasonal flu vaccination is especially important for these target groups.

Influenza virus has a special affinity for respiratory epithelial cells, this virus often multiplies strongly when entering the respiratory tract and destroys cells. When crossing the immune barrier, the flu virus enters the bloodstream, reaches the organs and causes damage there.

For people with flu, if it’s moderate and mild, the patient often has symptoms of high fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, dizziness, respiratory infection, laryngitis… On the other hand, if infected with the bad flu, (Influenza A/H5N1), patients will experience fatigue, anxiety, convulsions, rapid pulse, low blood pressure, liver, kidney and lung damage. If not treated aggressively, the patient can die after 1-3 days due to respiratory failure and cardiovascular collapse.

An annual flu shot helps older adults avoid complications from seasonal flu.

An annual flu shot helps older adults avoid complications from seasonal flu.

Influenza vaccine helps to create cross-immunity with COVID-19 vaccine

CKI doctor Bach Thi Chinh also said that in Vietnam, seasonal flu usually peaks around March-April and September-October every year, with an increasing trend in the last months of the year. The flu vaccine is about 2 weeks – 1 month before the epidemic season because after the injection, the body needs 2 weeks to produce antibodies against the flu virus, that is around August, September every year.

However, the protective antibodies produced by the influenza vaccine only last for about 1 year, because influenza viruses are often mutable and have the ability to continuously change their antigenic structure over the course of the year. Therefore, experts recommend getting a booster shot of the flu vaccine every year. Currently, the flu vaccine is fully available for all ages, children from 6 months old can have the first flu vaccine.

WHO recommends that annual flu vaccination helps to proactively prevent disease early, is a simple and cost-effective measure. In Vietnam, the flu vaccine has a new generation of quadrivalents that can prevent the 4 most pathogenic strains of influenza, including 2 strains of A, A/H1N1, A/H3N2, and 2 strains of influenza including B/Yamagata, B/Victoria, effective protection, wider coverage of influenza strains.

“Influenza vaccination has also been shown to create ‘non-specific cross-immunity’ with Covid-19, reducing morbidity, limiting the risk of serious complications and death, especially in the elderly and people have chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes… However, the use of influenza vaccine to replace covid vaccine is not indicated for all groups of subjects, it is recommended to inject at the same injection session or alternately. between the Covid vaccination schedule will bring the best effect.” – BS.CKI Bach Thi Chinh said.

In addition to scientific nutrition and physical training measures, vaccination against seasonal flu helps strengthen the immune system, effectively protects the elderly against pathogens and ensures community immunity. community, effective disease prevention for those around. It is very important for the community to form a habit of repeating the flu vaccine every year.

Mr. Chi


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