Older people hit hardest by flu in Europe [Guest Post]

Guest post by Gary Finnegan, Editor, Vaccines Today

Flu season is over for another year. Vaccines Today reported that worst-affected age group were those older 65 years of age.

One of the key reasons for this was that the dominant flu virus this year – influenza A(H2N2) – usually causes a particularly strong spike in hospitalisation of older people.

“We knew as early as week 46 [November 2016] that this would be quite a bad season for the elderly,’ says Marc Van Ranst, University of Leuven. ‘It is always the same when H3N2 is dominant.”

As the southern hemisphere prepares for flu season, experts will emphasise the need for vaccination of at-risk groups, including older people.

Wider health benefits of vaccines
Vaccines Today also posted articles highlighting the value of flu vaccination for people with chronic lung conditions and heart failure.

In addition, the Europe-based website highlighted a new video proven to improve uptake of pneumococcal vaccines; the benefits of adolescent vaccination in controlling meningitis outbreaks; and the debate on whether vaccination should be mandatory for health workers.

This series illustrates the growing attention to vaccination at all stages of life.