In Europe came winter and lower temperatures with colds and flu. Experts believe that influenza cases have only fallen dramatically in recent years, primarily due to the restrictions and restrictive measures that existed across Europe. However, these measures were lifted everywhere as the vaccination campaigns against Covid-19 progressed. However, the repressed influenza could claim further victims this winter as the populations were unable to develop natural resistance and were not vaccinated.
A bigger problem than Covid-19
According to official statistics, “in France between 2012 and 2020 more than 65,000 people died of the flu”. In the UK in particular, around 17,000 people die from the flu every year. Influenza is a real public health problem, even if it is seasonal, and has been all but forgotten in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted health care search behavior, health care, testing practices and capacities in countries and territories in the European Union that experts say will “have a negative impact on epidemiological surveys as of March 2020 and had virological data on the flu ”. .
Suddenly, according to British researcher Anthony Harnden, Vice-Chair of the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, “the flu could be a bigger problem than Covid-19 this winter”. The point is that, according to the scientist, the “very, very low prevalence of influenza in recent years, which went to near zero during the lockdown” had significantly reduced immunity in the population.
Professor Harnden spoke to national media as health officials are considering the possibility of giving the flu vaccine at the same time as the coronavirus vaccines. A challenge, not only scientifically but also logistically. As all human resources were already busy running a campaign against Covid-19. A campaign that turned into a race against time as the variants gained ground.