Social distancing measures implemented around the world to combat coronavirus disease may help countries in the northern hemisphere limit the spread of influenza, although it remains unclear what features the next influenza season will feature, according to Maria Van Kerkhove, Coronavirus Pandemic Crisis Manager. 19 of the World Health Organization.
“We need to make sure of this in the northern hemisphere countries; we are still testing influenza and so are testing Covid 19,” Kerkove said.
Van Kerkhove added in a hypothetical WHO briefing that the restrictions imposed on Covid 19 would be beneficial for influenza, but we do not yet know how the flu season will happen.
According to the WHO official, the WHO is urging those who are part of the high-risk groups to get vaccinated against influenza this fall.
And she added, “The good news is that we can be prepared for that, and we are preparing for that. There is a vaccine being introduced against influenza and we strongly urge those who belong to high-risk groups to make sure that they are vaccinated.”
Many countries, including South Korea and the United Kingdom, stepped up flu vaccination programs this fall, and the latter moved to restrict the export of vaccine doses in order to ensure domestic supplies.
With the start of the flu season, many countries in Europe have reopened lockdown measures as the continent grapples with the second wave of COVID-19.