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Friday, December 3, 2021

Coronavirus in Poland. The flu and RSV virus overlap with the fourth wave of COVID-19. An expert on the vaccination of children

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Flu is one of the most common causes of infectious infections in the season and also one of the frequent causes of hospitalization of children – emphasized on TVN24, habilitated doctor Agnieszka Mastalerz-Migas, professor at the Medical University in Wrocław. She urged vaccinations against this disease. She also referred to the course of the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland. She stressed that “the threat still exists”. – There has been a great deal of loosening. Somewhere we mentally escaped from thinking about the pandemic – she noted.

The fourth wave of SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus infections overlaps with the wave of RSV infections, to which children are particularly at risk. Seasonal flu is also an increasing threat. That is why it is so important, according to doctors, to get vaccinated against this disease. Stela Kiriakidu, the European Commissioner for Health, also called for the vaccine.

A similar appeal was sent from the TVN24 antenna by Agnieszka Mastalerz-Migas, habilitated doctor of medical sciences, professor of the Medical University in Wrocław, national consultant in the field of family medicine, member of the Medical Council at the prime minister. – I strongly encourage you to vaccinate children, because flu is one of the most common causes of infectious infections in the season and also one of the frequent causes of hospitalization of children – she emphasized.

Flu vaccinations. A “dramatically” low percentage among the youngest children

– We talk a lot about RSV virusbecause he is actually taking his toll at the moment, but the time will come for the flu and the children will go to hospitals – emphasized the doctor. – The vaccine has been known for many years and it is safe. I do not see any contraindications except an acute infection, which is a temporary contraindication to vaccination – she explained.

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As she recalled, children can be vaccinated against flu from the age of six. – Between six months and two years of age, these are intramuscular vaccinations, while for children over two years of age up to the age of 18, we have a very convenient form of intranasal vaccine – she noted.

Chief Sanitary Inspectorate

As she noted, “very few” children in Poland are vaccinated against influenza. – There are no statistics for this season yet, because it is just getting started and vaccines are only just being sent to pharmacies in tranches, while data from previous seasons show that at least in this youngest age group, about one percent of children are vaccinated. This is dramatically little and it is definitely worth working to increase this percentage, because it is simply greater health safety – she appealed.

Mural in front of the city hospital. J. Strusia in PoznańPAP / Marek Zakrzewski

– We are not aware that the flu is a dangerous disease, that it can cause hospitalization, can cause complications – she added. – We treat the flu as such a cold infection, one of many that children get sick. Most children will, of course, have the flu this way, (…) but unfortunately a certain percentage will have a harder time and will require hospitalization. This is what we want to avoid, she said.

Flu facts Maciej Zieliński, Adam Ziemienowicz / PAP

COVID-19 pandemic. “We forgot about very simple recommendations”

The Ministry of Health announced on Saturday about 6,274 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection. This is the highest daily report since May 6. The ministry also said that 75 people with COVID-19 have died.

As Mastalerz-Migas pointed out, “we are still in a pandemic state and the threat still exists”. – There has been a great deal of loosening. Somewhere we mentally escaped from thinking of the pandemic, in closed rooms very few people wear masks, we do not respect distance. We forgot about these – may seem simple and should seem familiar – recommendations, so it’s worth revisiting them to reduce the spread of the virus, she recommended.

– We can see that despite the fact that we are vaccinated in some percentage, we have fallen ill in some percentage, it is not enough to stop the wave – said the TVN24 interviewer. “What is very worrying at the moment is that not only is the number of cases increasing, but the number of hospitalizations and deaths is increasing significantly,” she added.

Importance of booster dose

– At the moment it is very important to give the third dose, this booster dose, because it strengthens the immune system. We already know today that the immunity after six to eight months after vaccination weakens significantly and especially those most at risk should take the third dose, and this, unfortunately, is different – she pointed out.

The Minister of Health, Adam Niedzielski, announced on Radio Zet that from November 2, it was planned to launch a referral system for the third dose for people over 18 years of age. In mid-September, the Medical Council issued a recommendation that the booster should be given to people over 50 years of age, as well as health care workers who have direct contact with patients.

Return to restrictions?

When asked if she would recommend a return to the restrictions, Dr. Mastalerz-Migas replied that it was necessary to act locally. – The differentiation in the intensity of the epidemic at the moment in different parts of the country is different, but where it gets out of control, some solutions will definitely need to be considered. For the whole country, I do not think, at this stage, yet – she assessed.

Should vaccinated people in their circle also follow sanitary guidelines? A member of the Medical Council emphasized that “at the back of your head you must have that the vaccinated person can get infected with the virus, can transmit it”. She explained that this happens in a shorter time and to a lesser extent than in the case of an unvaccinated person, “nevertheless, we must be vigilant and if we have symptoms of an infection, we should actually perform a test to exclude at least a coronavirus infection, because it is also in the vaccinated person. it may happen”.

Mastalerz-Migas noted that there is a significantly reduced risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 among vaccinated people.

Professor Mastalerz-Migas on influenza vaccination and COVID-19TVN24

Main photo source: PAP / Marek Zakrzewski

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