One-third more people considering flu vaccination than usual
More people are looking to get a flu jab this year, which experts say will not only protect them but those around them at a crucial period
‘The corona effect’
Mensura asked more than 1,000 working people in Belgium if they were going to get a flu jab this autumn or were considering getting one. Some 39% replied positively compared to 30% last year.
“During the corona crisis, awareness about viruses and the need to protect ourselves has increased,” said Schrijvers. “This is illustrated by people’s feelings around flu vaccinations.”
Limiting a potential flu epidemic is also crucial in preventing hospitals from becoming overwhelmed with patients
She emphasises that it is more crucial than ever for risk groups to get vaccinated, as an infection with both the flu virus and the coronavirus in the same period could have far more serious consequences. Risk groups for flu include anyone who is over the age of 50, chronically ill or pregnant. Anyone who shares a household with someone in a risk group should also get a flu jab, as well as should health care workers.
Mensura’s survey also showed that more than half of people who get a flu jab do so to avoid getting sick themselves, not to prevent passing the virus on to others. But just like the coronavirus, notes Schrijvers, getting a flu vaccination also protects everyone around you.
“People who get flu jabs protect not only themselves but also ensure that vulnerable people have less of a chance of coming in contact with the flu virus,” she said. “Limiting a potential flu epidemic is also crucial in preventing hospitals from becoming overwhelmed with patients.”
Every year some 500,000 people in Belgium get the flu. This is up to 90% less than it would be without flu vaccinations. Many people are offered flu vaccinations at work, but can also get one from their own doctors.
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