Flu: 9 million vaccinated and a growing campaign

Flu 9 million vaccinated and a growing campaign

The flu vaccination will last for another month. This was announced together, Friday, January 20, the Ministry of Health, Health Insurance and Public Health France. Initially scheduled until January 31, the shots of the serum against the flu can be done until February 28. In question: a still active circulation of the epidemic. “This year, the seasonal flu epidemic started early and was characterized by high intensity circulation in December and marked severity,” the three institutions said in a press release.

Despite a marked decrease in influenza indicators since the beginning of 2023, “the circulation of influenza viruses is still active. An upward recovery in the indicators remains possible in the weeks to come”, warn the three authorities.

“This was observed during the 2017-2018 season, during which the epidemic proved to be early and exceptionally long, with an atypical dynamic linked to the successive circulation of the A (H1N1) and B/Yamagata viruses” , said the general direction of health (DGS). According to the latest report from Public Health France, dated January 18, the number of visits to the emergency room for flu syndrome has halved (-51%), as has the number of hospitalizations after a visit to the emergency room (-61%) . Nevertheless: all of France, including the Overseas Territories, is still considered at epidemic alert level.

Generally, the flu epidemic occurs between the months of November and April, with a start most often between the end of December and the beginning of January. Last year the peak was observed very late, in April.

A long campaign to start

After a slow and hesitant start, more than 9 million people designated as at risk have already been vaccinated against the flu, more than last year according to Cnam, where just over 8 million people had been. In total, France has 16 million people at risk, for whom the government strongly encourages vaccination.

Vaccination is particularly recommended for people at risk who are likely to develop a severe form. For these populations, the flu vaccine is fully covered by health insurance and represents the best way to protect themselves from the virus and its complications”, add the three authorities, indicating that on average 2,000 lives are saved. each year in the over 65s thanks to vaccination. “Increasing vaccination coverage among vulnerable people remains a priority public health objective, particularly during periods of simultaneous circulation of influenza and SARS-CoV- viruses. 2”, adds Public Health France.

In addition to the seasonal flu vaccination, the Covid reminder campaign remains open to all. Vaccination against Covid is particularly recommended for all people aged 60 and over or with a risk factor during this winter period. “It is quite possible to administer the vaccines against Covid-19 and seasonal flu concomitantly. If the two vaccines cannot be administered at the same time, there is no particular time limit to be observed between both injections,” the health ministry said.