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Flu Shot 2021: How Effective Is It?

Viral influenza (flu) is a serious illness that can be particularly dangerous for some groups of people. The Robert Koch Institute’s Standing Vaccination Committee (STIKO) therefore advises people who have an increased risk of infection to have an annual flu shot.

This includes

  • people over 60,
  • pregnant women
  • people with previous illnesses,
  • residents of retirement and retirement homes,
  • and people at risk at work (such as medical personnel).

Influenza vaccination protects against severe course

Although vaccination does not offer 100% protection, it can prevent a serious course. Complications such as pneumonia or a heart attack can occur with the flu, which can be fatal, as the severe flu epidemic of 2017/18 made clear. The flu is estimated to have killed around 25,000 people in Germany. According to the RKI, most flu deaths occur in older people.

Influenza vaccination 2021: how much does it protect against infections?

As already mentioned, the flu shot does not provide 100% protection. Furthermore, vaccination effectiveness can vary greatly in individual seasons and also differ in individual virus subtypes or virus types. With a good match of circulating influenza viruses to the vaccine, a young adults a protective effect of up to 80 percent observed. the medium protection mind close healthy adults between 59 and 67 percent. Older people have a reduced immune response. This means that the flu shot is less effective. On average, vaccination helps the elderly 41 to 63 percent.

The best time to get the flu shot

This year’s vaccination should ideally take place in October or November. But even at the beginning of the flu season in January, it is still advisable to get vaccinated. The flu vaccine provides adequate protection for the entire flu season. Since influenza viruses change rapidly, an annual update is recommended.

Influenza vaccination 2021: experts warn of the wave of flu

According to US scientists, a wave of flu could threaten in the fall. “This year, unlike usual, a significant portion of the population contracted the flu and became immune,” Andy Pekosz, a professor of microbiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told NBC. The Robert Koch Institute is reluctant to assess the German flu surge. At the request of Germany publishing network It said: “It is not known when and to what extent the global circulation of the influenza virus will resume and which virus or which subtypes will spread.”

More on the topic: Influenza: Will the flu surge come in the fall?

Sources: rki.de, impfen-info.de/grippe

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