They recommend a flu shot for all children, the elderly and people with COVID-19

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A nurse is preparing a dose of vaccine.Photo: European Press

Virologist and PediatricianVaccine experts say the Fall flu and COVID-19 vaccinations won’t be the same as both are “complementary” despite “slight differences”.

So, on the one hand, they endorsed the recommendation to vaccinate ‘All’ children 6 months to 5 years old get seasonal flu, is the age group most affected by this infection. On the other hand, they say the coronavirus vaccine will only be given to the “target population”, namely those showing symptoms. risk factors, such as age or previous medical history.

This is how he explained it in Santander on Thursday 31 August Raúl Ortiz de Lejarazu, Scientific Adviser and Honorary Director of the National Influenza Center of Valladolid, during a meeting with Coordinator of the Andalusian Corona Vaccination Program and Vaccine Advisor of the Spanish Pediatric Association At a press conference co-hosted by pediatrician David Moreno, Ignacio Salamanca, Coordinator of the Research Center of the Seville Pediatric Institute.

The three appeared in front of the media while participating in the “Ninth Vaccine Update and New Approach Conference”. Two years after the COVID-19 pandemic, the vaccination schedule has changed, the course taught by the Menendez Pelayo International University.

The Director of the Influenza Center and the UIMP Curriculum pointed out that the Spanish Pediatric Association recommended the vaccination of all children last year, and in this regard underlined that the upcoming event will be free.

Unlike COVID-19, as he puts it, “flu kills healthy children, but very rarely,” but depending on the severity of the virus and the conditions it causes, between nine and fourteen children and adolescents die each year, “half of them “There were no deaths and there were additional risk factors.

He therefore recalled that the World Health Organization had made recommendations in this regard more than a decade ago, Salamanca added, and because influenza “is not a disease of the elderly”, protecting children is the same as protecting everyone else. population.

Currently, they compare, while 3 out of 10 minors get the flu, only 10% of people over 18 get the flu, although the problem is that for many people over 65, that’s likely to be Their “last” infection.

Ortiz said flu and COVID-19 vaccinations are “parallel” but not “identical,” before saying that vaccines against the coronavirus are aimed at the elderly and vulnerable, as well as health workers, which is his goal this year. priorities. World Health Organization itself. The latter represented a “deficit” for “vaccinated” countries like Spain, he added.

Virologists explain that 75% to 80% of the population in rich countries is now immune to the new coronavirus because they have been infected with the virus, vaccinated or both, which is why it is now recommended to apply it only For target groups, such as the elderly.

As he warns, age is a risk factor, and since the death rate of infected people increases by 1% or 1.5% every five years after age 65, these people should not be “out of question.” Speaking of vaccinations.

Asked what vaccine to get, Ortiz suggested a vaccine that is “as advanced as possible” and “minimizes” the escape of the new coronavirus, which has not yet stabilized as it continues to mutate. In other words, Moreno points out in this regard that, this fall, drugs against the isolated virus strains should be used.

The pediatrician focused on recommendations to vaccinate people with medical conditions, including children, in “very rare cases,” he said, such as people with congenital immune deficiencies or undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy. And the virus has a “minimal or zero” fatality rate for healthy children under five.

“Coronavirus has been around for life”

As for the pandemic itself, Ortiz said the acute phase of the pandemic, as well as the early post-pandemic phase, is over, which is why we are now moving towards the post-pandemic phase, because the virus “has come” to leave us lifetime. ” And removing those factors that affect humans is “difficult.”

However, his prediction for the next decade is that it “may” be better suited to our species as well as a vaccine, and that the new coronavirus will have its “niche affected”, he concludes.

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