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Medicine at the workplace ENGLISH Foto: HIGH FLU VACCINATION RATE even during the corona pandemic The Covid pandemic has changed our lives. We now think of vaccinations more often than before and are confronted with them almost every day. Nevertheless, it is still a hot topic. As a current study by Techniker Krankenkasse shows, significantly more people were vaccinated against flu during the pandemic than in previous years. A positive trend that should be maintained, especially in the group of people over 60. Why should people get vaccinated if there was no flu epidemic in the previous year? The 2020 flu season peaked at the end of February 2020. However, due to the corona pandemic, data collection from the countries was interrupted and then leveled off. Due to the lockdown and the mask and distance requirements, it can be assumed that only a few people were infected with the flu. However, a reliable prognosis with regard to the coming flu season cannot be made, so the flu vaccination is recommended as primary prevention, together with mask and distance requirements. Preventive measures are very important in the case of COVID-19, especially to prevent further congestion in hospitals. Can a flu vaccination overload the immune system after having already been vaccinated against Covid? No. The immune system is like a muscle that should be trained and supported. Doctors always take into account the intervals between other vaccinations or the use of immunomodulating drugs. Immunocompromised people especially need a flu shot. Has the corona pandemic made flu viruses more aggressive? Viruses are subject to constant mutation. You have to be aware of that. It is not yet possible to assess whether the flu viruses have mutated to our disadvantage. The flu vaccination is all the more important as a preventive measure in order to be better protected against possible aggressive variants. What vaccine will be used this season? Company doctor service vaccinates tetravalent, using a quadruple vaccine consisting of two strains of influenza A and two strains of influenza B. However, it may be that this time the accuracy and thus also the flu protection will be lower. This is because there has not yet been a significant flu wave in the Southeast Asian countries. The World Health Organization 42 CHECK OST #2

Medicine at the workplace (WHO) usually observes these about six months in advance to see how the influenza spreads. This year the situation is different and difficult to assess. Basically, the motto applies: every vaccination counts, even if the certainty of vaccination protection is not guaranteed. Why are there different vaccination recommendations for older people? Older people aged 60 and over and seniors are vaccinated with a high-dose vaccine. This approach is based on the knowledge that a high-dose vaccine, compared to a non-high-dose vaccine, has an increased mode of action, especially in older people. The increased effectiveness is extremely important, since the severity of the course of an influenza illness can never be precisely foreseen, so that the best possible protection against severe courses should always be given. The performance of the immune system decreases, especially with increasing age, and older people in particular can often suffer from serious complications associated with influenza. Therefore, the use of the right vaccine is crucial in order to minimize the risks as well as possible. Every vaccination counts, even if the certainty of vaccination protection is not always guaranteed. What should you watch out for with a flu vaccination? Can you do sports? Every organism can react differently to the flu vaccination. In general, however, it should be said that vigorous physical exertion and sport at performance level should be avoided, at least shortly after the vaccine was administered. What are the common side effects of a flu shot? According to the Robert Koch Institute, the seasonal influenza vaccine is actually well tolerated. When the organism comes into contact with the vaccine, however, there may be temporary local reactions, such as reddening, slight pain and swelling at the point of injection. In general, there is always the possibility that temporary side effects include fever, shivering, sweating, tiredness, headache or aching limbs. Symptoms of a temporary change in blood Foto: Ralph Penno Christoph Tismer – Managing director Betriebsarztservice count or immediate allergic reactions after vaccination only rarely occur. What is the difference between a cold and influenza? Influenza is an illness caused by influenza viruses and is associated with severe illness, sudden onset of high fever, chills, cough, and / or sore throat, headache, and body aches. Symptoms without fever are often described as a cold by patients – with fever as a flu-like infection. The terminology is always mixed up because people are often unable to differentiate between symptoms and their causes (viral or bacterial infection). The flu and its symptoms start very quickly, whereas the common cold starts more slowly. With the flu, headache and body aches as well as fatigue are very strong (subjective pronounced feeling of illness). Sometimes even doctors find it difficult to tell the difference between the two diseases because the symptoms are similar. If in doubt, a laboratory test, such as a rapid influenza test, can help. (red,mb) Warning: a virus flu (influenza) is not a simple cold, but a serious illness. The chronically ill in particular as well as people over the age of 60 and pregnant women should receive a vaccination, as they are at increased risk of the disease having serious consequences. A contribution from company doctor service Source: CHECK OST #2 43

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