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What will the flu / COVID-19 combination season look like this fall?




COVID-19 spread relaxation has taught us something about influenza (what we already knew)

Keeping a social distance, wearing a mask, washing your hands, and getting the flu vaccine are all great ways to help prevent the flu, at least until another strain outbreaks. Of course, doing the same for COVID-19 has clearly the same effect, and the evidence supporting action-driven diffusion mitigation is now overwhelming. There has been some debate about the contrast between the effectiveness of influenza this year and the benefits of these behavioral changes, but together they have been clearly successful in reducing the spread of influenza. In particular, Pacific Rim and East Asian countries already understand this largely, and in countries like South Korea and Japan, wearing masks during outbreaks is common.

Seasonal and infectious, but only one elusive (for now)

I really enjoyed having no flu symptoms or illness this year, so I’d like to leave it as it is. Unlike COVID-19, near 90% or more of influenza vaccines do not provide near complete coverage and efficacy.2 Rather, we are generally very happy with rates between 40% and 60%.3 Does influenza growl, assuming we have reached a low rate of COVID-19 with manageable steady state or booster management? Or has COVID-19 changed our therapeutic power and social behavior?

Stronger Impact: Lessons Learned or Vaccine Fatigue?

Habits are a powerful influence. We are now washing hands, wearing masks, avoiding others walking down the aisles of grocery stores, and holding our breath for over 14 months. (Acknowledge it. You did it in the elevator.) These habits and pre-mind consciousness will persist. Do you wear a mask wherever you go? Do you avoid live concerts? I doubt it. Can I get a flu shot? of course. But what is the view from non-healthcare professionals? We still cannot regularly attack 50% of adults vaccinated against the flu most of the year.Four Will the rate go up or down? Very difficult to predict: Will COVID-19 mitigation and behavior continue after lower case rates, and will influenza again become a major threat each fall?

Recognition that Brazil, India, and COVID-19 will not disappear

Then there is the world view. While the vaccine supply is plentiful and we are beginning to feel embarrassedFive Much of the world still suffers from COVID-19. India cannot catch up with the cremation while Brazil still denies it.6 If the global COVID-19 infection rate does not decrease, herd immunity will be even more difficult as we scream for more trade and travel abroad. The cruise industry and the CDC are trapped in a fierce battle.7 Airlines CEOs are working on ways to treat international travel differently than domestic travel8 Our own “foam” currently eats 60% with at least one inoculation.9

Will the test be in the front seat?

What if the basal rate of COVID-19 infection persists despite the widespread availability of vaccines that are nearly 100% effective against severe illness and death?2 Especially in the face of the opening of a society where you can experience the typical flu season? Well, a lot of tests will result, one might guess. Unlike spring allergies, where the difference between COVID-19 and sneezing is more pronounced, influenza and COVID-19 are not necessarily treatments, but their symptoms are significantly similar.Ten— Especially in the light of oral influenza and some of the new treatment options for patients with COVID-19 who may have early but progressive infections.11 Influenza testing that excludes COVID-19 may become new normal for both patient and surveillance.

2022 could be a watershed year if ready

It is perfectly possible to vaccinate most Americans with COVID-19. Continue testing. And it maintains non-invasive, non-impressive, and easy-to-implement behavioral changes, with influenza vaccination rates exceeding 50% this fall. Nearly 500,000 PIC deaths this year and approximately 100,000, 80,000 and 80,000 PIC deaths, including baseline pneumonia, have occurred in the last three years (COVID-19 deaths in the previous two years). There was no).1— Will overall PIC deaths be much lower next year and new behaviors and vaccine technologies could set a new baseline? Or do we return to complacency? Many involve pharmacist-led preparation, patient counseling, public relations, and behavior. Oh, by the way, the promotion and administration of the pneumococcal vaccine may also work better now.

Troy Trygstad, PharmD, PhD, MBA, Is the Vice President of the North Carolina Community Care Pharmacy and Provider Partnership, working with more than 2000 medical practices to serve more than 1.6 million Medicaid, Medicare, commercial and uninsured patients. increase. He holds a Ph.D. and MBA degree from Drake University and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Achievements and Policy from the University of North Carolina. He is also a board member of the American Pharmacists Association Foundation and the Pharmacy Quality Alliance.


  1. The FluView overview ends June 18, 2021. Influenza (influenza). CDC. Accessed on June 24, 2021. https: //
  2. Intermediate vaccine efficacy of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273COVID-19 vaccines in the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Thompson MG, Burgess JL, Naleway AL, other healthcare professionals, first responders and other essential and frontline workers Estimates-8 locations in the United States, December 2020-March 2021. MMWR Mauve Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021; 70 (13): 495-500. doi: 10.15585 / mmwr.mm7013e3
  3. Vaccine efficacy: How effective is the flu vaccine? CDC. Accessed on May 17, 2021. https: //
  4. Influenza vaccination rate, USA, 2019-20 influenza season. CDC. October 1, 2020. Accessed on May 17, 2021. https: //
  5. Olsen H. Opinion: The large US vaccine supply can be a diplomatic headache for Biden. The Washington Post. April 7, 2021. Accessed on May 17, 2021. https: //
  6. Halal PC, Victor CG. Overcoming Brazil’s monumental COVID-19 failure: Call for urgent action. Nature Medicine. May 6, 2021. Accessed on May 17, 2021. https: //
  7. The Norton T. Cruise industry is dissatisfied with the “burdening” CDC requirements. Travel Pulse. Updated April 5, 2021. Accessed May 5, 2021. https: //
  8. Richter F. The aviation industry is suffering from the “worst year ever” because COVID-19 is the basis for overseas travel. World Economic Forum. February 18, 2021. Accessed on May 5, 2021. https: //
  9. COVID-19 vaccination in the United States. CDC. May 17, 2021. Accessed on May 17, 2021. https: //
  10. Jang A, Ogurchak J.COVID-19 Paramedic for inpatient treatment. Pharmacy Times®. September 11, 2020. Accessed on May 5, 2021. https: //
  11. Are Tan Q, Duan L, May Y, and others Oseltamivir suitable for fighting COVID-19: in silico assessments, in vitro and retrospective studies. Bioorg Chem. 2020; 104: 104257. doi: 10.1016 / j.bioorg.2020.104257





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