The Dual Epidemics of COVID-19 and Influenza: Vaccine Acceptance

COVID-19, a Pandemic or is it now Endemic ?


Day by day over six months have passed since the novel corona virus emerged in Wuhan China. Our modern technological society has been a dual edged sword.  On the one hand we have treatments and vaccinations for most infectious diseases, on the other hand modern technology, airline flights and international global economies allow novel diseases to travel at blazing speeds.  At the same time modern communications such as the internet allow for rapid dissemination of outbreaks.

Data analytics, computation, artificial intelligence developed for the  World Health Organization and Johns Hopkins University allow for daily analysis and demographics of the world, country down to individual counties or jurisdictions.




The health system, and wider society, must prepare for the likelihood of co-epidemics of COVID-19 and influenza. What are the most effective strategies for increasing influenza vaccine coverage across the population and particularly in schools, businesses, and hospitals? Should states or businesses require vaccinations? Influenza vaccination, moreover, could offer valuable lessons for ensuring vaccine acceptance and uptake when COVID-19 vaccines become available.

The nation’s goal should be to attain high influenza vaccine coverage, including near-universal coverage among health care personnel and other high-risk groups for COVID-19. Expanding vaccine coverage requires multiple strategies.

While the initial impact has occured in densely populated areas of the developed nations, the continuing outbreaks in rural and more isolated populations will occur over the next several years.  At the same time continuing resurgences will occur globally.

No one preventative measure will suceed alone.  A multi pronged attack is necessary, including vaccination, physical distancing, sanitation and respiratory filtering.  At the same time biological herd immunity will evolve.  Once a 50-60% saturation occurs herd immunity will equal vaccination effectiveness.

References

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The Dual Epidemics of COVID-19 and Influenza: Vaccine Acceptance, Coverage, and Mandates | Geriatrics | JAMA | JAMA Network