The specialist of infectious disease advised that the outbreak of covid-19 pandemic during last summer will cause a double pandemic; that is, seasonal influenza will also be going to hit. But the prediction of a double pandemic never happens as the flu didn’t cause any damage, and its rate is also very low.
Why Did The Flu Disappear Last Year During The Covid-19 Outbreak?
As Covid -19, the influenza virus also spreads through the respiratory system. But due to covid 19 precautions, such as social distancing, always wearing a face mask, washing hands, not only prevent the spread of Covid-19 virus but also the flu.
According to the reports of clinical and public health labs of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 27of Sept 2020 to 24 of April 2021, only 2038 cases of four registered, and if we compare the numbers with last year, that is 2019-2020 it is 38 million.
Dr. John Swartzberg, a professor emeritus of infectious disease at the University of California Berkeley in the school of public health, according to him, it was the best year concerning influenza spread rate. He has been observing the flu throughout his life and never has seen anything like this. Though last year, the flu didn’t cause any harm, so the question is will it be the same as last year? And what role vaccines will play.
The World Health Organisation holds a meeting twice a year with health specialists on the flu data of last year. Every year once in February and the second time in September, they review all the data and then referred the conclusion to the vaccine manufacturing companies and recommend the things that should be included in the coming batch of vaccines.
This year as everyone is busy down the covid 19 pandemics, as the flu spread rate was almost zero, that data for further research is also limited. Swartzbergs says generally, they have enough data to make vaccines for the next influenza strain but not in this year. So WHO has recommended a similar vaccine for flu as last year. And the cherry on top thing is a few percentages are already immune to strain which came last year.
Each year WHO recommends 4 such strains of flu for vaccine advancement; it is called the quadrivalent vaccine. A cell-based influenza vaccine manufacturer Dr. Gregg Sylvester, a chief medical officer at Seqirus, said that for this year, WHO has advised them to keep two of B strains, and the change should be made in two A strains.
But he is not sure about this amendment. By getting a green signal for the manufacturing of flu vaccines to gear up the generation as many Americans didn’t know what will happen this year. Influenza will come as the regular season starts in early October and ends in April.
As the flu cases were low last year, that doesn’t mean this will be the same for the upcoming season. It doesn’t mean that if people didn’t get sick last year, it doesn’t mean that they are immune to it. Swartzberg continues that if we are not killed by something, that doesn’t mean we are strong enough.