Since early 2020, “The flu virus has circulated very little, (but) has not disappeared”, summarized Jérôme Salomon, Director General of Health, Thursday at a press conference.
These are mainly people over 65 and pregnant women, but also people with certain pathologies: asthma, diabetes, heart failure, AIDS, etc. All caregivers are also concerned.
This launch concerns vaccination for independent people, who can request it from their doctor or a pharmacist. In nursing homes, the campaign has already started on Monday.
The government intends to take advantage of the flu vaccination to breathe new life into that against Covid-19, while French people at risk can be injected with a booster dose of anti-Covid vaccine since early September.
Or, “The same people are at risk of serious Covid and severe flu”, underlined Mr. Salomon.
The health authorities therefore want to kill two birds with one stone. Concretely, it will be possible – and even encouraged – to receive at the same time his third dose of anti-Covid vaccine and his flu vaccine: one shot per arm.
Like every year, it is difficult to know how the flu will hit many French people. Last year, in the middle of the second wave of Covid-19, there was no seasonal flu epidemic.
Successive confinements and barrier measures to fight the epidemic had then reduced the circulation of other viruses, starting with that of influenza.
On the flip side, the low circulation of viruses last winter probably reduced the population’s immunity.
“After two years of Covid, two years without the flu, we must prepare for ‘co-circulation'” viruses of Covid-19, bronchiolitis and seasonal flu, concluded Mr. Salomon, emphasizing the importance of barrier gestures.
The government has, in any case, taken its precautions by ordering more flu shots than last year.