Flu shot takes on new importance

The government is calling on everyone in Monaco to get a flu shot this year to minimise the impact of the seasonal influenza virus on the Principality amid an ongoing Covid epidemic.
Everyone from the age of six months is recommended to get a flu vaccination, while the government says it is “an absolute duty” for all caregivers and social workers in contact with vulnerable people, as well as State workers, to get the jab.
Doctors, nurses, midwives and pharmacists can give a flu shot and the vaccination is refunded for anyone affiliated with Monegasque Social Security.
There are a number of advantages to having the flu shot.
Seasonal flu and Covid, although caused by very different viruses, have identical symptoms: fever, cough, fatigue, and muscle pain. Diagnosis will therefore be easier if an infected person shows these symptoms but is vaccinated against influenza.
Each year, some flu patients are admitted to the emergency department with complications, therefore hospital resources need to be available to address serious forms of Covid.
Vaccination can also reduce the number of PCR tests carried out to determine if a person has coronavirus, when they are actually contaminated with the flu.
When a person has symptoms that are evocative of Covid, professional or school closures are the rule pending the results of PCR tests to reduce the risk of spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Therefore, vaccination decreases the number of closures.
Finally, eliminating the flu reduces the number of days of people will have to be away from school or work.
For information regarding a vaccination, people are encouraged to contact their GP.