Get the flu shot? An individual act of health prevention in 2019 but “A citizen act” in 2020. In a column published in the JDD, 75 majority deputies call on the French to protect themselves “massively” against the seasonal flu epidemic: “As winter approaches, the risk is great of seeing the Covid-19 collide with the flu, itself responsible for around 10,000 deaths each year”, they warn, taking up the concerns expressed by the scientific community.
As early as May, the Academy of Medicine had warned the authorities about the consequences “Catastrophic” a telescoping between a possible second wave of Covid and the inevitable return of the flu. Either a “Congestion of intensive care services and a new peak in excess mortality, in particular in retirement homes”. August 19 in an open letter published online, seven learned pediatric societies had joined their voices to his, also advocating a broad vaccination of children against influenza but also against rotavirus, a pathogen of gastroenteritis. A double necessity for pediatricians, also anxious to avoid a traffic jam in health structures by patients, but also by suspicions of Covid.
These arguments, the LREM deputies take up their account. “This epidemic cohabitation could prove deleterious by causing delays in diagnosis, by causing complications in the most fragile among us and by causing a massive influx of patients in hospitals”, say the signatories, while focusing their appeal on influenza vaccination.
This is because getting this message across is already a challenge. In 2019, less than half of the at-risk population agreed to receive an injection for seasonal flu. The vast H1N1 flu vaccination campaign had convinced only 8% of the French population…
Aware of this reluctance, the deputies are trying to smooth out the financial angle. In their forum, they invite the government to ensure that the flu vaccine, already reimbursed for people at risk and those over 65, is this year supported for all by mutuals. For good measure, the 75 signatories of the text intend to set an example: all will be vaccinated this year against the flu.