This year’s flu outbreak is expected to begin at Christmas and peak about four weeks later. Public Health recommends taking the vaccines well in advance.
– It will take a few weeks before the vaccine starts to work Siri Helene Hauge, Director in Public , says to the news agency NTB.
Last year there were more people from risk groups who got vaccinated against seasonal flu.
According to a new survey from Statistics Norway, the vaccination coverage is still too low. Only just over one out of ten, were vaccinate for last year’s flu season.
– That’s a slight increase from the year before, and it is gratifying. Although it is not a large increae, it may indicate that several risk groups see the benefit of vaccinating against the annual flu, Karoline Bragstad, senior researcher at the NIPH’s Flu Department , says.
The vaccine coverage is low among employees in the health sector who are in contact with patient as welll, at just 12 percent.
– It is very low and should be higher. They are at twice the risk of infection of the rest of the population, Bragstad says .
The objective of the World Health Organization (WHO) is that three out of four in the risk groups are vaccinated . Close to 1.5 million people in Norway are at increased risk of serious complications or death from influenza.
An average of 900 people die annually as a result of severe flu disease in Norway.
The people with the greatest risk of death from the flu are the elderly and people belonging to one of the risk groups, including people with diabetes, chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, liver and kidney failure and people who are immunocompromised.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today