As the fall and winter approaches, “we expect a resurgence of seasonal influenza and respiratory syncytial virus.” This is the picture presented by Andrea Ammon, director of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), in a press conference with Emer Cooke, executive director of the European Medicines Agency EMA. At the same time, “we also observe an increase in the transmission of Sars-CoV-2 in the EU/European Economic Area and expect that ‘respiratory’ viruses will co-circulate in the coming months”. This co-circulation “will put vulnerable people at risk of serious illness and death, with increased pressure on healthcare.” “It is difficult to predict exactly when the circulation of respiratory viruses will increase or peak,” Ammon added. As for the increase in Covid cases, “it is probably due to the increase in travel and large summer gatherings – highlighted the number one of the ECDC – and to the decline in immunity after a long period of low circulation of the virus”. “Our modeling showed that a high-adherence Covid vaccination campaign, targeting people aged 60 and over, could prevent around 21-32% of all Covid-related hospitalizations in the European Union or in the European Economic Area until 24 February”.
“We must act now to minimize the impact” of the respiratory viruses that will co-circulate next autumn-winter: Sars-CoV-2, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus Rsv. We need “strong public health measures including vaccination against Covid and influenza, the use of personal protection measures, surveillance and reporting”. “Covid-19, influenza and RSV remain significant public health challenges,” Cooke warned. People who belong to risk categories and are vulnerable should get vaccinated”, because “vaccination is the most effective way to prevent infections and protect against serious diseases and hospitalization”. “The co-administration of vaccines against Covid and influenza is feasible “, added the number one of the EMA. “Member States – she concludes – will make decisions on their national vaccination campaigns based on the epidemiological conditions and the availability of vaccines in their countries”.