Getting flu with Covid doubles danger of loss of life, says UK well being chief | Coronavirus
According to Dr.
The former Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England warned that the UK is facing an “unsafe” winter – which will see both flu and Covid-19 circulating for the first time – and urged people to take in both the coronavirus and the flu vaccination if they are authorized.
When asked how concerned the public should be about the flu this winter, she told Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday, “We should be concerned about the flu every winter. I think people still don’t know that it can be a fatal disease.
“But I think the most important thing about this winter is that we will probably see the flu circulating with Covid for the first time in real numbers. So the risks of catching both of them together remain. And if you do, early evidence suggests that you are twice as likely to die from having the two of you together than just having Covid alone.
“I think an uncertain winter is coming – that’s not a prediction, it’s an uncertain trait – but we know the flu cases were lower last year so immunity and strain types are a little more uncertain,” she said.
Harries also warned that the UK could have multi-strain flu this year with reduced immunity as last year’s Covid restrictions resulted in virus levels being extremely low.
She said an average of about 11,000 people die from flu every year. “The difference is that, if you will, we skipped almost a year with the flu.
Harries said this year’s flu vaccine contains four strains of the virus after consulting the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) looking for countries in the southern hemisphere where winter, and with it, flu season is coming previously.
“So we have a pretty good selection in our toolbox to try and hit the dominant one, but it could be more than one this year and people’s immunity will be lower. I think the real trick here is to get vaccinated against both Covid and flu, but obviously continue to follow these good hygiene practices that we have practiced throughout the Covid period, ”added Harries.
Harries also said that wearing masks in school for children wouldn’t be high on their list of Covid-safe measures.
“I think the most important thing is that we make sure that children don’t go to school when they are actually contagious. We have a very good testing program and we know we expected the number of cases to rise early in the semester, ”she told BBC The Andrew Marr Show.
Harries also said that the dominance of the Delta variant globally has caused other coronavirus variants to “become extinct,” but warned that we still need to “remain vigilant.”
The NHS aims to vaccinate a record 35 million people this winter, the most ambitious flu vaccination program in history. Free flu shots are at the forefront of around 30 million health and social workers, people aged 50 and over, children up to age 11.