Delta variant, Delta + variant. And then the classic seasonal flu which, without the obligation to wear masks outdoors, could revive next autumn. Last season saw a collapse of the influence thanks to the use of protection devices.
But no one knows today what will happen in the autumn, how strongly the Delta variant of Covid will affect and above all the probable co-circulation of Sars-CoV-2 and flu viruses.
It is therefore recommended to the regions and autonomous provinces to immediately start tenders for the procurement of flu vaccines based on estimates made on the eligible population and not on the coverage of previous seasons. With a special ministerial circular, vaccination is recommended, and therefore offered free of charge, to the elderly (over 65 years of age), to people belonging to categories at risk of complications because of chronic diseases (cardiovascular, respiratory diseases, diabetes), to women in pregnancy, as well as essential service workers. Since a Covid-19 pandemic situation remains, the aforementioned circular represents the opportunity to recommend influenza vaccination in the 6 months-6 years age group, also in order to reduce the circulation of the influenza virus among adults and the elderly ” .
The circular is signed by Undersecretary Costa.
The circular reads:
“The World Health Organization-WHO recommends reconsidering the priority of risk groups for influenza vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic, for the following reasons:
ensure optimal control of influenza among high-risk groups of severe COVID-19 disease and influenza. Admission to healthcare facilities could increase the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and the subsequent development of severe forms of COVID-19; decrease access to the emergency room and hospitalizations for flu; reduce absenteeism among health professionals and other essential services for the response to COVID-19; ensure the management and optimal use of seasonal influenza vaccines, potentially limited worldwide.
Given the current epidemiological situation relating to the circulation of SARS-CoV-2, the Circular recommends to anticipate the conduct of influenza vaccination campaigns starting from the beginning of October and to offer vaccination to eligible subjects at any time of the flu season, even if they show up late for vaccination.
Each region and autonomous province establishes the structures for vaccination (the Vaccination Services of the Prevention Departments of the ASLs, General Practitioners and Free Choice Pediatricians), as well as the organizational methods for the purchase (through regional tenders) and distribution of vaccines.