Too few people in Germany can be vaccinated against the flu

Too few people in Germany can be vaccinated against the flu / Health News

Experts warn: benefit of flu shot of risk groups often unrecognized

Last winter, nearly 60,000 people in Germany had to be hospitalized in hospitals. In more than 1,000 people, the infection ended fatally. Protection can, inter alia, provide the flu vaccine. But according to health experts can be vaccinated in this country too few people.

Particularly difficult course

The past flu season was particularly difficult and led to about nine million visits to the doctor. Over 330,000 laboratory-confirmed flu cases with influenza viruses were reported last winter. Almost 60,000 people had to be hospitalized in hospitals. In 1,665 people, the infection ended fatally. Protection can include vaccination against influenza. For the first time in the flu season 2018/2019, insured persons for the first time have a binding claim to a quadruple vaccine against influenza. But according to health experts can be vaccinated too few Germans.

According to a recent survey, the German attitude towards vaccination has generally improved, but the benefits of flu vaccines are often not recognized by risk groups. (Image: Production Perig /

Protection against infections

The cold season is approaching and thus increases the likelihood of developing a "real" flu (influenza).

In order to protect yourself from a flu infection, it is generally useful to strengthen the body's defenses, to keep away from patients and regularly wash their hands.

Protection also offers the flu shot. Above all, people at risk can be vaccinated.

Not a simple cold

The Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) recommends the annual flu vaccine in October or November.

This applies in particular to so-called risk groups such as people over the age of 60, pregnant or chronically ill as well as groups of people with increased risk of infection, such as medical staff.

"A true flu is not a simple cold, but a serious disease," Dr. Heidrun Thaiss, head of the BZgA, in a statement.

"The fact that the flu must not be underestimated is illustrated by the high number of illnesses from last winter 2017/2018," says the expert.

"According to the season report of the Working Group Influenza, there were an estimated nine million influenza-related visits to the doctor. The BZgA therefore points to the flu shot as effective protection against a serious infectious disease. "

Influenza vaccine is considered by many as not very important

As stated in the communication, the results of the BZgA's current nationwide representative survey show that population attitudes towards vaccination have generally improved.

However, barely half of those surveyed (47 percent) who are recommended to take a flu shot estimate it as "(especially) important". Only 40 percent of respondents who belong to one of the risk groups claim to be regularly vaccinated against influenza.

One of the main reasons why the vaccine is not regularly monitored is the assessment that the flu is not a particularly serious illness.

Influenza viruses are very contagious and can spread quickly. Most influenza is characterized by severe signs of illness such as sudden high fever over 38.5 degrees Celsius, dry cough and headache and body aches.

The condition affects the whole body and lasts for five to seven days even in uncomplicated cases. Examples of complications include lung or heart muscle inflammation, in severe cases even with death.

The BZgA recommends sick persons to stay at home, to observe bed rest and thus to prevent a further spread of the pathogens. (Ad)