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Medical News & Perspectives
August 20, 2020

Flu Vaccination Urged During COVID-19 Pandemic

JAMA. 2020;324(10):926-927. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.15444

As the US heads into influenza season with the novel coronavirus pandemic still raging, public health authorities stress that it’s more important than ever for people to get their flu shot. Although influenza’s disease burden varies from year to year, evidence clearly shows that vaccination can reduce flu severity and prevent hospitalizations—critical considerations at a time when the health care system is burdened by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

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    2 Comments for this article
    COVID-19 vs Influenza: a Difficult Clinical Differential Diagnosis
    Giovanni Ghirga, Pediatrician | Civitavecchia, Italy
    COVID19 and influenza will be difficult to distinguish clinically in unvaccinated patients because of common symptoms (fever, cough, dyspnea), blood test findings (leucopenia and lymphopenia), and chest computed tomography appearamces (ground-glass opacity and consolidation with bilateral lung involvement). Influenza testing for every suspected case will be unfeasible during the epidemic. This has a therapeutic implication in influenza / SARS-COV-2 co-infection because early administration of neuraminidase inhibitors like oseltamivir and zanamivir, effective against influenza, could ameliorate the course of the co-infection.
    Coexistence of Both Infections May Increase Disease Severity and Mortality
    Rajeev Gupta, MD, DM (Cardiology) | Mediclinic Al-Jowhara Hospiral, Al Ain, UAE
    It is great to notice the initiatives. The message is timely and life-saving. Influenza vaccination is no longer a choice but an imperative during this time. If influenza complicates any illness like acute myocardial infarction, mortality increases. Likewise it may increase the severity of COVID-19.