COVID, Ministry of Health: Possible flu outbreak

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Influenza A, live attenuated virus vaccines under study

The document also stresses the importance of influenza vaccination, which remains “essential to ensuring a certain immunity in the population.” In particular, the minimum target for the target groups, i.e. the elderly, the vulnerable, children under 6 years of age, health workers, public service employees of primary collective interest and workers in sensitive sectors, is to reach 75% coverage, which rises to 95% as the optimal target. According to the ministry, it is necessary to “continue to monitor and prepare for the next seasonal influenza pandemic and for future influenza pandemics: continuous monitoring and testing, rapid investigation of outbreaks, timely sequencing, and data sharing are of paramount importance.” For this reason, the publication asks provinces to “raise awareness of the participation of free-choice general practitioners and pediatricians in epidemiological surveillance”. Regions are also invited to “strengthen virological surveillance of influenza and other respiratory viruses, and appropriately identify and support national network laboratories”.

Impact: the numbers in the world

The General Directorate of Health Protection of the Ministry of Health also states that about 1 billion cases of influenza are recorded in the world each year: from 3 to 5 million serious cases, between 290,000 and 650,000 deaths. Specifically, Europe has 4 to 50 million cases of flu symptoms, with 15,000/70,000 deaths from influenza-related causes. Mortality involving 90% of people over 65 years of age, especially among those with underlying chronic clinical conditions.

National influenza vaccination record as well

The publication also announced that the use of the National Immunization Registry (Avn) could start from the 2022-2023 season to collect data on people vaccinated against influenza. To date, data on influenza vaccine doses given to the target population have been managed through the computerized system created by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Iss). It is now expected to move to the new system of the National Immunization Register, which is however associated with passing an examination, currently in progress, between the data collected by the two systems to assess its coherence and completeness. The publication states, “If the result of this assessment is positive, the NAV will also be ready for the 2022-2023 influenza vaccine season. Instead, the usual ISS portal will continue to be used.”

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