Intensified vax drive vs other viruses urged to avoid COVID-19 co-infections | Inquirer News

Intensified vax drive vs other viruses urged to avoid COVID-19 co-infections

/ 04:56 PM May 31, 2022
Health advocates call for stepped up vax drive vs non COVID-19 viruses

FILE PHOTO: A doctor vaccinates a patient as part of the start of the seasonal influenza vaccination campaign in Gouzeaucourt, France, October 13, 2020. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

MANILA, Philippines — To reduce the public’s vulnerability to COVID-19 co-infections, an alliance of health advocates has called on the government anew to undertake an “aggressive vaccination program” for other viruses, including influenza or the flu.

“We feel that there has to be more attention in reminding the public to be up to date with their vaccines, not just for COVID-19,” Orlando Oxales, Lead Convenor of the Universal Health Care Watch, said Tuesday.

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He also cautioned against the public’s “complacency” as mobility restrictions loosen and economic activities regain momentum in the country.

“This is going to be a problem because what we don’t need is for another surge to happen,” Oxales added.

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Action plan against co-infections

Pulmonary medicine specialist Dr. Ralph Villalobos previously said that COVID-19 and the flu, commonly reported in co-infection cases, are “here to stay.”

Flu and cold are especially prevalent during the rainy season because of sudden variations or changes in the temperature.

With this in mind, a group of healthcare professionals in April discussed how the country can effectively respond to these overlaps in viral infections.

“We need to mobilize everything. The whole gamut of the health system,” pulmonary critical care specialist Dr. Jubert Benedicto said at the ‘Innovating with the Speed of Need’ convention. “Clinicians in the frontline need to decide if they are dealing primarily with a flu infection. Surveillance studies are needed since both diseases can present [itself] in a similar manner.”

Since co-infections pose heightened health risks on patients, infectious disease expert Dr. Rontgene Solante also stressed on the need for early medical interventions to mitigate the effects of the virus and prevent an increase in hospital admissions.

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IN THE KNOW: More similarities than differences between flu and COVID-19

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TAGS: COVID-19, flu, Health, Influenza, vaccine
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