Vaccine hesitation may lead to a “dual epidemic” of influenza and COVID-19
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5% to 20% of the nation’s population is infected with influenza every year, and approximately 33,000 people die. The annual direct medical expenses for individuals and businesses is 11.2 billion U.S. dollars.
Influenza vaccination every year is a particularly important preventive step. According to the National Infectious Disease Foundation, compared with young people, adults 65 and older are at a much higher risk of serious complications such as pneumonia and hospitalization, such as heart disease and stroke caused by the flu.
On the other hand, the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that if treatment, premature death, long-term complications, and loss of economic output are taken into account, by the fall of 2020, the cost of COVID-19 will be $16 trillion.
In order to minimize the possibility of an epidemic of twins, Baghdad Sarian called on the public to vaccinate those who have not yet been vaccinated against influenza and coronavirus. CDC stated that it is safe to inject both vaccines at the same time.
Baghdad Salian said: “We are at a difficult crossroads in Michigan, because first, we have spread the COVID statewide with a high rate of transmission. This is much higher than the exact time last year. .”
As the weather gets colder and enters the holidays, Baghdad Sarrian is worried that the community spread of COVID-19 will be even greater.
Bagdasarian said that she is still worried that too few people get the flu vaccine while the COVID-19 infection is still spreading.
She said: “I want to know how much pandemic fatigue and people don’t want to talk about infectious diseases anymore.” “I also think that this year some people are not so excited about social distancing and wearing masks.”
One potential bright spot: The pandemic has increased people’s willingness to stay at home when they are sick, rather than maintaining it through illness and possibly spreading it to others, Forshee said.
McGraw said that in order to increase the number of flu and COVID-19 vaccinations, doctors need to make flu vaccines their priority for communicating information.
“I have patients coming in and I told them they are not infected with COVID, but they may have the flu, and we can test them,” he said. “I remind them that now is a good time to get the flu vaccine, because the weather is getting colder and colder and they will stay indoors for the holidays.”
McGraw says that those who say they don’t usually get the flu vaccine sometimes reconsider when they see how serious emergency room workers are about infectious diseases.
“When they arrive, we separate patients who may have COVID or other respiratory diseases,” he said. “When they see that we are all wearing masks and how careful we are, some people will say,’Yes, I have to reconsider and get vaccinated.'”
Forshee said that Priority Health’s data shows that the proportion of elderly people vaccinated against coronavirus and flu is much higher than that of young people. Priority’s Medicare population is vaccinated with more than 80% of the vaccine, while the general population’s vaccination rate is 40%.
“We know that young people have very good immune systems and they respond very well to vaccines, but we also know that young people can spread the virus and put others at risk,” Forshee said. “Young people can also get COVID and flu themselves. Although it is not that serious, they do get it.”
A recent survey of more than 1,000 American adults commissioned by the National Infectious Disease Foundation found that although more than 60% of Americans agree that influenza vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza death and hospitalization, 44% of them Said they were not sure about their plans to get the flu vaccine this year.
The primary reason for the adults surveyed to be hesitant about flu vaccines is low effectiveness and they also worry about side effects. A study shows that influenza vaccine can reduce the risk of influenza disease by 40% to 60%. Recent CDC report.
“People keep telling me that they are healthy and don’t need a vaccine,” McGraw said. “It varies from person to person. Some people get the flu vaccine every year without any problems. For some reason, they have been very reluctant to get the COVID vaccine. Many reasons make it difficult for me to fully understand.”
McGraw said that some political leaders deliberately misled the public.
He said: “The COVID vaccine has proven to be safe and effective. In fact, statistically, it is even more effective than the flu vaccine. We have a long history with these vaccines.” “Vaccinations will protect to a large extent. People are protected from major or life-threatening diseases. Unfortunately, not being vaccinated can lead to serious long-term illness, disability and even death.”
This story first appeared in our sister publication, Crane’s Detroit business.