A “particularly intense” flu epidemic, the fear of pharmacists

NICOLAS MAETERLINCK / AFP Pharmacists’ unions are concerned about a delay in vaccination against the flu (Photo illustration).

NICOLAS MAETERLINCK / AFP

Pharmacists’ unions are concerned about a delay in vaccination against the flu (Photo illustration).

FLU – A “significant delay”. The two main pharmacists’ unions express their concern over the level of vaccination compared to last year as the flu epidemic looms “particularly intense” this winter.

The trend is indeed not favorable: as of November 18, 32 days after the launch of the flu vaccination campaign, just over 7 million doses had been distributed. Last year, at the same time of passage, 8.6 million doses had been administered. That is 18.3% less, according to data collected from 14,000 of the 20,000 French pharmacies and published by the company IQVIA, a specialist in health data.

A necessary communication campaign

This drop is “particularly worrying”, Explain the Uspo pharmacists’ union, in a press release published on November 18 on Twitter. He “sound the alarm on the drop in vaccination coverage” and invites pharmacists to “ask their patients if they are vaccinated against the flu and encourage them to get up to date”.

“It’s a bit of a disaster this year”, confirms to AFP Philippe Besset, president of the FSPF, the first trade union in the profession. Especially since this decline mainly concerns the public “priorities” (over 65, chronically ill, pregnant women), for whom the injection was reserved until November 15. Pointing a “general fatigue towards vaccination, even among those for whom it is necessary”Philippe Besset estimates that it will be ” very difficult “ to make up for this ” delay “ without one “important communication campaign”.

But time is running out, because “the indicators of the arrival of the flu have started to light up in Brittany”, passed into the pre-epidemic phase at the beginning of November, underlined the Minister of Health, François Braun, on Sunday on RTL, describing the emerging epidemic as “virulent”.

The Uspo, for its part, reports a “higher influenza activity to other years, leaving “predict a premature and particularly intense epidemic” in a city. François Braun nevertheless assured that the health system will be able to “support the arrival of the flu if everyone does their part (and) if the most vulnerable people get vaccinated”.

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