Everyone’s been talking about Corona – for almost two years now. Yet in the Corona pandemic, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that flu season is upon us. A potential wave of flu could then hit untrained immune systems. This is because flu waves have been almost completely absent in the last season and a half. So the new viruses could cause more severe courses if necessary.
It’s about patient protection, but also self-protection
For Covid-19, we know for sure that even vaccinated people can pass on the viruses. Even with the flu vaccine, there is a risk of infecting others despite vaccination, he said. Flu vaccinated people are likely to be infectious for less time, but “not sterile.” The risk of infecting patients and thus starting larger spreads should be somewhat smaller for vaccinated people, but exactly how large or how small it is remains completely unclear in the case of influenza.
Nevertheless, the STIKO assumes that protection against infection should not be underestimated and considers vaccination for nurses and doctors to be ethically imperative. The STIKO literally states: “Medical personnel represent a possible source of infection for the patients to be cared for. These are often patients who, due to existing underlying diseases, have an increased risk of developing a severe, possibly fatal form of influenza. Vaccination of medical personnel therefore follows the ethical imperative of not harming patients. At the same time, vaccination serves to personally protect medical personnel who may come into contact with influenza patients.”
The ideal time for flu vaccination
The Standing Committee on Vaccination recommends getting vaccinated from October to mid-December. This is because it takes another 10 to 14 days after vaccination for the vaccine protection to fully build up. Thus, nurses and doctors (and all other groups for whom the STIKO recommends the flu vaccination) are immunized in time for the flu season, which usually begins around the turn of the year.