As the influenza season approaches, the Family Vaccination Center of the Children’s Clinical University Hospital (BKUS) reminds the public to vaccinate against influenza, BKUS representatives said in a release September 29.
Children are the most affected by influenza, and children are also major influenza distributors, quickly infecting not only each other, but also parents, grandparents, and teachers. Influenza may result in severe complications such as inflammation of the lungs, pneumonia, other inflammations and chronic illness.
It is recommended to vaccinate against influenza in autumn, prior to the flu season.
“There was virtually no flu in Latvia last year, because of safety measures taken to reduce the spread of Covid-19 during the traditional flu season, children learned remotely and most adults worked from home – there were fewer mutual, close contacts and the general public observed the hygiene of the airways and hands and used facial masks in public places. But this means that the society’s immune response to the flu has reduced since 2019 and there is a higher risk of illness and complications this season,” said Dace Zavadska, head of the Children’s Hospital Family Vaccination Center.
“It has to be taken into account that it will be difficult to distinguish between whether a person has influenza or Covid-19, because both respiratory diseases have similar symptoms. [..]. If a person has not yet vaccinated against Covid-19, vaccination against influenza and Covid-19 can be carried out on the same day. This applies to both the first and second dose of Covid-19 vaccine.”
The cost of the influenza vaccine is fully covered by the State for children aged 6 to 23 months, pregnant women, people aged over 65 and patients with chronic illness.