Flu: 2,000 deaths averted thanks to vaccination

Flu: 2,000 deaths averted thanks to vaccination

While the flu is usually mild in young and healthy people, it can be fatal in some cases. On October 18, 2018, Minister of Health Agnès Buzyn officially launched the new influenza vaccination campaign. As every year, the vaccine is covered 100% for people at risk (over 65, pregnant, obese, chronically ill women).

Last year, immunization coverage stagnated below World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations. It stands at 45.6% in all at-risk subjects, 49.7% in the elderly and less than 30% in the chronically ill. “We are very far from the vaccine coverage rate of 75% recommended by the WHO”, regrets the minister.

Agnès Buzyn estimates that vaccination helps prevent 2,000 deaths from influenza each year. With 63% vaccination coverage, 2,500 deaths would be avoided per year.

Remember that last year, the flu killed 13,000 people in France. Of the 3,000 patients admitted to intensive care following complications, eight out of ten were affected by the vaccination, but only 69% had received the necessary injection.

In addition, the Minister underlined the low vaccination rate among health professionals: only 26%. A charter has been signed with seven professional orders (doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, chiropodists, midwives, pharmacists and dentists) to encourage everyone to take the plunge.

This year, it will be easier to get vaccinated, for those who want it. Anyone with their vaccination voucher can go to a doctor, nurse or midwife. In four pilot regions (Occitanie, Hauts-de-France, Auvergne-Rhône Alpes, New Aquitaine), pharmacists are also authorized to practice this vaccination. The device will be extended to the whole of the territory next year.

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