The influenza vaccination season will start again soon. Even a double spade is conceivable: against flu and corona at the same time.
Berlin – In parallel to the fight against the corona pandemic, experts say that as many people as possible should be vaccinated against flu this year. The chairman of the German Association of General Practitioners, Ulrich Weigeldt, has called for more support.
“The most important thing for the second Corona autumn will be that as many people as possible get vaccinated, not only against the corona virus, but also against the flu,” he told the “Rheinische Post”. The influenza vaccination should by no means be forgotten, it also makes a decisive contribution to protecting the population and relieving the burden on the health system. “Everything must therefore be done to ensure that there are no logistical or organizational obstacles in the way of the practices,” said Weigeldt.
The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) recommends a flu vaccination for people aged 60 and over, for pregnant women, previously ill and for medical staff. There is no explicit recommendation for healthy under-60s and children – but Stiko does not advise against it either.
“Influenza illness in healthy children or adults under the age of 60 usually runs without serious complications,” says the explanation on the website of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Should there still be a need for a flu vaccination, “it should be clarified whether the health insurance company will cover the costs”.
From October to mid-December
According to the RKI, vaccinations should be given from October to mid-December, if possible. However, immunization at a later date can also be useful. The annual influenza wave usually begins in Germany after the turn of the year, according to the RKI.
It was desirable that the corona and influenza vaccinations could be administered at the same time as possible, general practitioner boss Weigeldt told the “Rheinische Post” on.
From the point of view of Stiko boss Thomas Mertens, the simultaneous vaccination is harmless. There is no evidence that one of the two vaccines will no longer work, he said “MDR Aktuell”. “In this respect, this precautionary measure of pulling the two vaccinations apart is no longer necessary.” Mertens campaigned for people from risk groups to be vaccinated against the flu.
The Stiko boss also responded to fears that the flu vaccine could offer less protection this year because fewer people were infected with flu and data could be missing in the past season. He thinks this fear is unfounded, he said. Laboratories around the world studied influenza viruses year round. That is the basis for the composition of the vaccines. RKI President Lothar Wieler said at the weekend: “The database on which the vaccine was developed is not as good as the database from previous years.” Dpa