The whole world is battling the coronavirus, but keep in mind that other diseases and viruses have not gone away. Doctors remind that flu can also be severe, and the Ministry of Health has just published a draft regulation defining the professional groups that could receive the flu vaccine free of charge. Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.
The Ministry of Health published draft regulation defining the professional groups that could receive the flu vaccine free of charge – including people employed in medical facilities, pharmacists, laboratory diagnosticians, academic lecturers, social workers, ZOL and hospice patients, uniformed services, as well as people over 75 years of age.
– This is definitely a move in the right direction – believes Dr. n. med. Ernest Kuchar. – The price of vaccines in Poland was a very significant barrier that prevented people from vaccinating. How is it that COVID-19 vaccines can be free and others not? An imbalance arose – he adds.
Last fall, interest in influenza vaccines was enormous. Poles entered the waiting lists for preparations, tried to get a vaccine abroad. – If this year the number of doses delivered to Poland does not increase significantly, we will have the same situation as last year – fears the Chief Medical Council expert on COVID-19, Dr. Paweł Grzesiowski, MD, Ph.D. – Those who want to get vaccinated will have to hurry, because there will be few vaccinations, and there will be no more vaccinations for the remaining ones – he adds.
Fears of a compensatory epidemic
At the peak of the last flu season the incidence of this disease was clearly lower than in the previous 2019/2020 season – all due to lockdown. “Distancing, face masks, plus school closings have resulted in less flu,” Kuchar explains.
Now, if the schools remain open, things can go quite differently. – We are afraid of the situation that the accumulated large number of infections will result in a compensatory epidemic. This year there may be many, many more cases – suspects Grzesiowski.
As experts say, the so-called mixed disease, i.e. COVID-19 and the flu at the same time is possible. And its course may be more severe than that of a single infection. Therefore, it is worthwhile for people who are particularly at risk to get vaccinated against both viruses this year.
Main photo source: Adam Warżawa / PAP