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The flu vaccine 2021: What's in it and who should get it in high-dose form

2021-11-09T13:13:37.223Z

In order to prevent severe flu disease courses, doctors advise certain groups to be vaccinated. A high-dose vaccine promises good effectiveness.



In order to prevent severe flu disease courses, doctors advise certain groups to be vaccinated.

A high-dose vaccine promises good effectiveness.

How extreme a flu epidemic will be cannot be predicted. They did not exist in the winter of 2020/2021. Corona measures such as exit restrictions, mask requirements and hygiene guidelines had prevented flu viruses from spreading. Accordingly, there were seldom fatal courses of the disease.

Influenza viruses, the triggers of the flu, are unfortunately unpredictable

: every year, other influenza virus variants can be in circulation, which makes vaccine development more difficult.

But why should you get a flu vaccination at all?

The problem: there are no drugs that act causally against influenza viruses.

In addition to a healthy lifestyle, vaccination is the only protection against serious disease.

As the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) informs, a real virus flu must not be taken lightly, as it can be fatal.

In particular, the chronically ill, people over the age of 60 and pregnant women should be vaccinated, as these population groups have an increased risk that the disease will have serious consequences, according to the BZgA.

The vaccination recommendation also applies to medical staff.

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New flu vaccines are produced every year

The vaccination itself is adjusted every year by the manufacturers to the expected pathogens, informs the

Spiegel

.

Adults are given quadrivalent inactivated vaccines that contain killed, no longer capable of reproducing components of four different flu virus variants

.

These are viruses that prefer to circulate in our northern regions in winter.

Der

Spiegel

names the following flu viruses that are used by flu vaccine manufacturers for the production of new vaccines:

  • Influenza A (H1N1):

    According to

    Der Spiegel

    ,

    this virus variant caused the

    Spanish flu in 1918 and the swine flu in 2009.

  • Influenza A (H3N2)

  • Influenza B viruses of the Yamagata and Victoria lines

+

The annual flu vaccination is recommended for pregnant women, for women and men with chronic illnesses, for people aged 60 and over and for medical staff.

© Jan Woitas / dpa

Older people "should get this high-dose influenza vaccine"

In addition to the “normal” flu vaccine, which is newly formulated and produced every year, there is also a so-called high-dose vaccine.

According to

Spiegel.de

,

this contains

four times the amount of antigens, i.e. four times the amount of the flu virus components. The aim of such a vaccination is to provoke a particularly strong immune response in the body. It makes sense to inoculate the high-dose vaccine in the

mirror

According to this, especially in people who generally respond poorly to vaccinations, i.e. whose bodies do not show the immune reaction that has the desired effect. Namely, that the immune system learns to recognize the coronavirus and to develop antibodies against it. Poor vaccination protection despite full vaccination has so far been observed more frequently in older people or people with autoimmune diseases.

Since the Standing Vaccination Commission recommends the high-dose vaccine for older people, the health insurance companies cover the costs for people over 60 years of age.

Professor Dr.

Dr.

Franz-Xaver Reichl from the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich explains in an interview with Merkur.de that the high-dose flu vaccine “is more effective than the standard influenza vaccine, especially in people over 60.

People over 60 should be vaccinated with this high-dose influenza vaccine, ”he appealed.

It makes most sense to get vaccinated against corona and flu

, Reichl continues.

(jg)

List of rubric lists: © Jan Woitas / dpa

Source: merkur

All life articles on 2021-11-09

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