Too few people in Germany are vaccinated against flu

Too few people in Germany are vaccinated against flu

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Experts warn: The benefits of flu vaccination are often not recognized by risk groups

Last winter almost 60,000 people in Germany had to be hospitalized in hospitals. The infection was fatal in more than 1,000 people. Protection can be given, among other things, by the flu shot. But according to health experts, too few people can be vaccinated in this country.

Particularly difficult course

The past flu season was particularly difficult and led to around nine million visits to the doctor. Over 330,000 influenza virus-confirmed flu cases were reported last winter. Almost 60,000 people had to be hospitalized in hospitals. The infection was fatal in 1,665 people. Protection can include vaccination against influenza. In the 2018/2019 flu season, insured persons are legally entitled to a quadruple flu vaccine for the first time. But according to health experts, too few Germans can be vaccinated.

Protection against infections

The cold season is approaching and this increases the likelihood of contracting "real" flu (influenza).

In order to protect yourself against a flu infection, it is generally a good idea to strengthen the immune system, keep away from the sick and wash your hands regularly.

The flu shot also offers protection. Above all, people at risk can be vaccinated.

Not an easy cold

The Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) recommends the annual flu vaccination in October or November.

This applies in particular to so-called risk groups such as people aged 60 and over, pregnant women or the chronically ill as well as groups of people with an increased risk of infection, such as medical personnel.

"A real flu is not a simple cold, but a serious illness," said Dr. Heidrun Thaiss, head of the BZgA, in a message.

"The fact that the flu should not be underestimated is illustrated by the high number of illnesses from last winter 2017/2018," said the expert.

"According to the seasonal report of the Influenza Association, there were an estimated nine million influenza-related visits to the doctor. The BZgA therefore points to the flu vaccine as effective protection against a serious infectious disease. "

Flu vaccination is not considered by many to be particularly important

As stated in the communication, the results of the current nationwide representative survey by the BZgA show that attitudes towards vaccination in general have improved.

Nevertheless, just under half of all respondents (47 percent) who are recommended to be vaccinated against flu consider it “(particularly) important”. Only 40 percent of those surveyed who belong to one of the risk groups state that they get regular flu vaccinations.

One of the main reasons why vaccination is not taken regularly is the assessment that the flu is not a particularly serious illness.

Flu viruses are very contagious and can spread quickly. Influenza usually shows up with severe symptoms such as sudden high fever above 38.5 degrees Celsius, dry coughing cough as well as headache and body aches.

The disease affects the whole body and lasts five to seven days even in uncomplicated cases. Examples of complications are inflammation of the lungs or myocardium, in severe cases even fatal.

The BZgA recommends that sick people stay at home, maintain bed rest and thus also prevent the spread of pathogens. (ad)

Author and source information

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