Vaccination is good defense against seasonal influenza
Seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. Influenza occurs in outbreaks and epidemics worldwide, mainly during the winter season. Millions of people get the flu every year and only in Europe 15 000 – 70 000 citizens die every year of causes associated with influenza. In addition to health care burden the yearly economic burden of influenza is substantial. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children. The World Health Organization (WHO) Europe organizes every year in October “The Flu Awareness Week”, which is a communication campaign across the WHO European Region. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) releases reports and data on influenza, which gives an overview of circulating influenza viruses. It is important to remember that antibiotics are not effective against influenza. Inappropriate use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance (AMR) around the world. It has been shown that vaccination significantly reduces the burden of infections, including viral infections and therefore reducing also the need for antimicrobial use. By keeping vaccinations up to date each individual can help to reduce AMR.