Geriatrics: Think about your next influenza vaccination!

Each year, influenza infects between two and six million people in France and is responsible for 10,000 to 15,000 deaths. ” However, the Vaccination reduces the risk of developing serious forms of the disease, cardiovascular complications, and, for the elderly, loss of independence “, Professor Javazi confirms.

Circulation of pandemic respiratory viruses has been limited this winter, probably due to the COVID-19 wave that has swept everything, crushing other viruses, as well as the barrier measures that have been put in place. But as soon as the barrier movements subsided, the wearing of masks disappeared, and social activities resumed, the flu spread, which was just beginning to express itself more intensely. So the influenza epidemic appeared late in the beginning of the year and was still present in April. The positivity rate for influenza was 48.1% in urban medicine, 12.4% in hospitals, while it was very low in residential institutions for elderly dependents (EPHAD). “ In general, the vaccination campaign stops at the end of January of this year, and there is a real delay. It had to be extended until February 28, 2022, Professor Gaitan Javase says: You should always be attentive to the diagnosis of influenza and especially to prepare for the next year “.

Increase vaccination coverage

Vaccination coverage (CV) estimates as of February 28, 2022 (1), among at-risk individuals targeted for influenza vaccination, indicated a CV of 52.6%, 56.8% among those aged 65 years and over and 34.3% among those with Those under the age of 65 are at risk of severe influenza. This CV was higher than that estimated for the 2019-2020 season (47.8%, 52% for those 65 and older and 31% among those under 65 at risk of severe influenza), but lower than the 2020-2021 season ( 55.8%), with 59.9% among those 65 years of age and older and 38.7% among those under 65 years of age at risk of severe influenza). On the other hand, in the high-risk population, the target set 75% of the CV was too far from investigation.

At EHPAD, the 2021-2022 CV was high (90.9%), but lower than the 2020-2021 season (93.4%) [2]. On the other hand, the CV of health professionals remained very low: 20% for workers in all types of social and medico-social institutions and 14.4% in health institutions, which is lower than that estimated during the 2018-2019 season (35%).

It is therefore always necessary to mobilize to raise investment capital, especially among the more than 15 million vulnerable people at risk of serious form, targeted with recommendations.

It is preferable to vaccinate with a high dose from the age of 65

Preparations for the 2022-2023 campaign against seasonal influenza have already been launched. A memo from the Directorate General of Health (DGS) has already recommended ordering doses of seasonal influenza vaccines in sufficient quantities. Along with the classic quadrivalent vaccines (two strains of type A and two strains of type B), a new flu vaccine four times higher in dose is suitable for people 65 years of age or older, who respond less well to vaccination (immunosuppression).

The French Society of Geriatrics and Geriatrics (SFGG) recommends the use of this vaccine at a high dose for elderly people who pay the most for influenza, that is, the elderly and those with many comorbidities. This vaccine increases the percentage of people age 65 and older who are protected from influenza by about 25%, compared to a standard dose of the vaccine. In addition, it reduces hospitalizations from pneumonia by 30% and cardiorespiratory diseases by about 20%. Its tolerance profile is satisfactory.

This high-dose vaccination strategy has already been implemented for several years in different countries, particularly in the United States, Canada and Germany.

(1) Weekly Influenza Bulletin 2022 from Public Health France, week 14

(2) Public Health Authority of France, end of December 2021

#Geriatrics #influenza #vaccination

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