As we head into fall and winter, public health officials are urging vaccinations against the flu while COVID-19 continues to circulate, according to The New York Times.
A Sunday story quoted a range of experts, including Dr. Jonathan Anderson, Head of Medical Affairs in Asia-Pacific for Seqirus. Anderson noted that flu activity in Australia in the Southern Hemisphere often provides a hint at what the flu season will bring in United States and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere. But this year Australia’s experience offers no real guidance because cases dropped by 99%, likely because Australians have twice been on COVID-19 lockdowns much stricter than those in the U.S.
Right now, in parts of Australia, including Melbourne, residents can leave home only for a handful of reasons and may not go more than 5 kilometers from their residences.
“Australia’s milder-than-usual flu season is likely the result of a number of factors – strong flu vaccination uptake, social distancing, but also a severely decreased movement of people,” Anderson told The New York Times.
Seqirus, one of the world’s leading producers of flu vaccine, is a business of CSL and has production facilities around the world.
Annual flu vaccines are recommended for almost everyone and the Immune Deficiency Foundation has been a vocal advocate for large-scale immunization. When a large portion of the population gets vaccinated, they help protect people who have primary immunodeficiencies and are especially vulnerable to influenza.