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Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Amid Covid, demand for flu shots shoots up 30%

Naina Mishra

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 10

While the wait for a Covid-19 vaccine continues, the demand for seasonal flu shots has risen among tricity residents to protect themselves from other respiratory illnesses. There has been a 30 per cent spurt in the demand for flu shots, according to private medical practitioners in the tricity.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recently stated, "Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect yourself and the people around you from flu, and to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the Covid-19 pandemic."

Dr RS Bedi from Bedi Hospital, Sector 33, said, "People used to get flu shots for younger children (aged 3-4) in Chandigarh. Now, a high percentage of older children up to 10-15 years is getting flu shots. There were hardly any older people who used to get themselves vaccinated. Now, we have been getting requests from people in their 50s as well for the flu shot. The demand for flu shots has risen by over 20 per cent."

Dr Rahul Katiyal, pulmonologist at Ace Heart Institute, Shivalik Hospital, Mohali, said, "We have received requests for flu vaccine from persons suffering from bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes. According to recent studies, the severity of the disease is less after getting flu shots. The demand for flu shots has increased by 30 per cent as people want to minimise the risk of Covid infection in the winter season."

What is a flu shot?

An influenza (flu) shot is a flu vaccine given with a needle, usually in the arm. Seasonal flu shots protect against three or four influenza viruses that, research suggests, may be most common during the upcoming season.

How effective is the seasonal flu shot?

Influenza (flu) vaccine effectiveness can vary. The protection provided by a flu vaccine varies from season

to season and depends in part on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine and the similarity or "match" between the viruses in the vaccine and those in circulation.

During years when the flu vaccine match is good, the benefits of flu vaccination will vary, depending on factors such as characteristics of the person being vaccinated (for example, their health and age).

Who should get vaccinated?

Everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions. Vaccination is important for people at a high risk of serious complications from influenza. Flu vaccination has important benefits. It can reduce flu illnesses, doctor visits as well as prevent flu-related hospitalisations and deaths.

from The Tribune

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