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Early influenza vaccination advised in a coronavirus pandemic



Infectious disease experts from Scripps Health, California, told San Diego on Tuesday that they would be vaccinated against influenza earlier this season to prevent overloading the local health system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prompted to get.

“If you’re vaccinated against the flu every year, it’s time to arrange for vaccination. If you have few or no vaccinations, it’s time to start vaccination.” Dr. Siu Ming Geary said. , Physician and Vice President of Primary Care at Scripps Clinic Medical Group.

Typical seasonal flu symptoms such as fever, cough, headache, and fatigue are similar to those of COVID-19, a disease caused by the coronavirus, both viruses attacking the respiratory system. It is still unclear how the two viruses interact when they infect the same person and affect the overall illness.

“I still don’t know how bad this flu season is, but it can be infected with both the coronavirus and the flu at the same time,” Geary said. “Both can cause serious illnesses and complications such as hospitalization and death. Vaccines for the coronavirus are not readily available, but flu shots can be done to prevent getting the flu. It’s the best way. “

Influenza killed 105 people in San Diego County last year, and the virus killed as many as 62,000 people nationwide. The 2017-18 season was even worse, with 343 deaths in San Diego County and 79,000 deaths nationwide.

“Some experts may disagree about the best time to get the flu shot, but most, including those at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, should be vaccinated by the end of October. I recommend, “Gearly said. “For this year, the coronavirus pandemic is still in full swing and it’s not too early to get a flu shot right away.”

Influenza vaccine supplies have sometimes diminished in the past, but this year shouldn’t be, Geary said. Pharmaceutical companies produce up to 198 million vaccines for the US market, a record high of 20 million more than past supplies.

The CDC is given annually to all people over the age of 6 months, especially those at high risk of influenza complications (including children over 65 and under 2 years, pregnant women, and people with chronic conditions such as asthma). Influenza vaccination is recommended for diabetes, heart disease, neurological conditions, blood disorders, weakened immunity, morbid obesity.

This year’s vaccine is designed to cover the four most commonly expected strains during the 2020-21 influenza season: influenza A (H1N1), influenza A (H3N2), influenza B. (Victoria), Influenza B (Yamagata).

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