We asked Prof. Marco Tinelli, infectious disease specialist at the Auxological Institute, to tell us about the flu vaccine and why it is very important to get vaccinated in the 2021-2022 season.THE IMPORTANCE OF ANTI-INFLUENZA VACCINE FOR BETTER DISTINGUISHING THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID
Vaccination against circulating influenza viruses in the autumn-winter season 2021/2022 minimizes the risk of confusing it with Coronavirus infection. The symptoms of COVID, especially in the early stages, are very similar if not the same as those of the flu.
Last year, the circulation of the flu virus in the population, both due to the rigorous lockdown that greatly limited travel, the massive use of masks but also due to an increase in the administration of the flu vaccine, was extremely low.
In the current year, since individual and mass movements are finally free, while still using airway protections indoors, the circulation of the flu virus could be much greater than in the 2019/2020 season.
It should also be taken into account that, even after mass vaccination for COVID, it may happen that some vaccinated people may have mild symptoms due to a partial recolonization of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which can be confused with those of the flu.
Furthermore, many people who may still be contagious and also have mild symptoms of the disease have not yet been vaccinated for COVID.The only system to distinguish flu from Covid, in the event of doubtful symptoms, therefore always remains the use of swabs for the Coronavirus.
WHY IS THE FLU VACCINE USEFUL IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID?
Recent scientific literature confirms that influenza vaccination, eliminating bronchial inflammation due to the action of this virus, minimizes the risk of favoring the penetration of other respiratory viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 into the mucous membranes of the upper airways that however, they can remain inflamed for quite a long time after contracting the flu.
This reason, together with the risk of avoiding, especially in fragile and immune-compromised people, pulmonary complications, even serious ones due to the flu, strongly recommend this vaccination already at the beginning of this fall.
FOR WHICH CATEGORIES IS IT MOST RECOMMENDED?
Influenza vaccination is strongly indicated for those over 60 years of age, health professionals, all categories who have frequent contact with the public, those who are particularly at risk such as people with diseases that reduce the immune response and those with diseases that increase the risk of complications during influenza,