In October, immunization for the seasonal virus begins, also injections in pharmacies. The “bivalent” of Moderna
The flu vaccination campaign is intertwined with that for the third dose of Covid. How will it proceed?
“For the flu vaccination there are no official dates yet, but it is likely that the injections will start in October. With a novelty: even pharmacists are authorized to vaccinate people aged 18 and over, including those who are entitled to free (over 60 and frail subjects). Administration in the pharmacy will cost 6.16 euros, in addition to the price of the drug for those who have to pay it. The departure of third doses against Covid (Pfizer or Moderna) is closer, but only for the categories at risk: from 20 September around three million immunosuppressed Italians will be able to receive the recall. These are patients who have undergone a transplant, with tumors or with autoimmune diseases. After, explained the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza, it will be the turn of the guests of the nursing homes and of the over eighty in general.
Is it possible to combine vaccinations against influenza and coronavirus?
It is one of the hypotheses being studied. The American company Moderna presented its “bivalent” vaccine at the R&D Day, the day dedicated to research and development. “A single dose that acts as an anti-flu and anti-Covid booster would be advantageous, from an economic and organizational point of view – he says Fabrizio Pregliasco, lecturer at the University of Milan and health director of the Galeazzi Orthopedic Institute -, especially for the categories which are recommended to protect themselves from the flu: over 60 and frail subjects. For others, it could be an incentive to have broader immune coverage. If, on the other hand, the two vaccines are administered separately, it is advisable to wait at least a couple of weeks between one and the other ». The flu vaccine is recommended, and free, even for children aged 6 months to 6 years and for workers in essential public services.
Last season, “only” 2 million 400 thousand cases of flu were recorded (compared to 7.6 million in 2019-20). Is a resurgence expected this winter?
It is possible that the flu will become more aggressive as preventive measures are discontinued (masks, distancing, hand hygiene). “The flu vaccine, like last year, will make it possible to avoid diagnostic confusions since some symptoms are similar to those of Covid” underlines Pregliasco. Last season, vaccination coverage increased to 23.7% in the general population (compared to 16.8 in the previous year) and to 65 in the over 60s (from 54.6% in 2019-20).
Will a third dose of Covid vaccine be needed when the green pass expires?
The Government and the Scientific Technical Committee are moving towards the hypothesis of extending the green certificate. “We need to see if and how much protection in the recovered and vaccinated will decrease – says Pregliasco -. Studies show a drop of 10 percentage points in 6 months, but it’s a fluid situation. Maybe we will arrive at a normality, in which Covid is comparable to the flu, offering the third dose only to the most fragile subjects “.
September 14, 2021 (change September 14, 2021 | 09:56)