Fever, sore throat? The return of autumn also signals the return of seasonal flu. This viral infection affects between two and six million people in France every year and causes about 10,000 deaths. To protect fragile people, the health authorities invite them, like every year, to be vaccinated.
Here is the main information to know about this campaign, which begins on Tuesday, October 18 in mainland France, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Guyana.
1Who is affected by this campaign?
The flu vaccination campaign is mainly aimed at vulnerable people: people aged 65 or over, immunosuppressed people or people with certain chronic diseases. (the list is available on the government website dedicated to vaccination), pregnant women, people suffering from obesity and those around babies under 6 months at risk severe influenza (criteria are detailed in the government website dedicated to vaccination).
they are also worried health professionals and professionals from medical-social establishments in contact with patients at risk, home helpers of vulnerable private entrepreneurs and professionals exposed to swine and avian influenza viruses.
twoWho can vaccinate me?
If you are in any of these situations, you will receive an invitation from Medicare to get vaccinated and a voucher that allows you to pick up the flu vaccine for free at a pharmacy. if it is not the cacea health professional can give it to you. In addition to this bonus, theThose under 18 years of age must have a medical prescription prior to vaccination.
Four types of professionals can then perform the vaccination: doctors, nurses, midwives (particularly for pregnant women and those around babies at risk), volunteer pharmacists (for adults only).
3Why is vaccination recommended?
The flu can be particularly serious for frail people. The goal is therefore “achieve (…) vaccination coverage of at least 75% for all target groups”reminds the High Health Authority (HAS) in order to limit hospitalizations and deaths.
Although the Covid-19 epidemic is not over, and even seems to have entered its eighth wave in France with the arrival of autumn, thehas has remember that it is “It is important to maintain vaccination efforts against seasonal flu to limit the burden on the health system”.
4Can I get vaccinated if I am not considered “at risk”?
Influenza vaccines are primarily reserved for people who meet the above criteria. During the first four weeks of the vaccination campaign, from October 18 to November 15, only the latter can be vaccinated. Beyond this date, the vaccination will be open to everyone, but will not be reimbursed by Medicare. The price of the vaccine varies between 6 euros and 10 euros in pharmacies, specifies the site service-public.fr.
5Can I get the flu and Covid-19 vaccine at the same time?
On October 3, the withdrawal campaign against Covid-19 began with the new vaccines adapted to Omicron. However, the population for which an anti-Covid-19 vaccination booster is recommended is for the most part also eligible for vaccination against seasonal influenza. For “Avoid any delay in flu vaccination and simplify the vaccination schedule”For this reason, HA recommended combining the two campaigns by vaccinating on the same day against Covid-19 and the flu. In this case, one vaccine is given in each arm.
“Vaccination against Covid-19 is fully compatible with annual flu vaccination. assured the Ministry of Health (PDF link) in September. “There are no contraindications. You can do both at the same time” because “there is no interaction between the two vaccines”confirmed virologist Bruno Lina, October 7, on franceinfo. However, it is also possible to space them out a few days or a few weeks, if you prefer.
If the double vaccination does not present any particular risk, a double infection with Covid-19 and influenza can, on the contrary, be dangerous. “in vulnerable people”assured the ministry (PDF) in July.
6Should we fear a great epidemic this winter?
It is difficult to know in advance the extent of flu epidemics, health authorities stress. Instead, the latter fear a major epidemic this year because influenza viruses have circulated less since 2020 due to barrier gestures and health restrictions. Prayed, “an influenza epidemic is controlled when there is collective immunity acquired by the regular circulation of the virus”virologist Bruno Lina recalled on franceinfo in early October. “Since the circulation of the flu has decreased in the last two winters, is our protection system less good and the virus will circulate more easily and intensely?”the scientist wondered.
The epidemiologist Jean-Daniel Lelièvre, head of the department of infectious diseases at the Henri-Mondor de Créteil hospital, advanced three other reasons early October with franceinfo in favor of a major epidemic: “There were very few vaccines. [contre la grippe] the previous years. So immunity tends to decline in the general population. So, we use the mask much less, we pay less attention. And then if we take a look at what’s going on in the southern hemisphere [touché par la grippe avant l’hémisphère nord]we see that the forms are more severe”.
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