6 enero, 2022

Influenza Vaccination Increased During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Last year’s efforts by public health authorities to ward off a “twindemic” of COVID-19 and influenza appear to have paid off in the form of increased flu vaccinations, according to a CDC report.

Recent data from 10 states and New York City show that overall, flu vaccinations increased by 9% during the last quarter of 2020 compared with the same time period in 2018 and 2019. Driving the increase were adolescents, who received about 13% more vaccine doses, and adults aged 18 to 64 years, whose vaccinations rose by about 15%. A more modest 9.5% increase occurred in those aged 65 years or older.

The number of doses administered to children and adolescents aged 5 to 12 years was similar during all 3 time periods, but it declined considerably among the youngest children in late 2020. Clinicians administered almost 14% fewer doses to infants and toddlers aged 6 to 24 months and 12% fewer to children aged 2 to 4 years during 2020’s last quarter compared with the 2 previous flu seasons.

Data from the National Immunization Survey-Flu and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System documented similar flu vaccination trends, the authors noted. They pointed out that even though it doesn’t protect against COVID-19, influenza vaccination was part of a public health strategy during the 2020-2021 flu season to flatten the overall curve of respiratory illnesses, protect essential workers from the flu, and conserve medical resources for patients with COVID-19.

During the current flu season, “Influenza vaccination among all age groups could help reduce the spread of influenza…and reduce the potential burden that influenza cases could place on health care systems already overburdened by COVID-19,” the authors wrote.

Créditos: Comité científico Covid

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