UN agencies staff members and their families supported the World Health Organization (WHO) campaign designed to raise people’s awareness about the influenza, and were vaccinated against this serious viral disease.

vac05Photo: Sergey Kruchinin. UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki and her family are being vaccinated against influenza.

Why is it important to be vaccinated against flu this year? The answer is obvious. According to the WHO experts, from 5 to 15% of the world population get infected with influenza annually.  The global mortality from respiratory diseases caused by seasonal flu may be extremely high.  The 2017 research showed that the annual number of deaths caused by the influenza in the WHO European region may amount to 72,000.

It is obvious that COVID-19 virus will also circulate during the flu season of 2020-2021, which will be an additional burden on health systems worldwide.

04 vacPhoto: Sergey Kruchinin. The vaccination campaign will also promote wider adherence to other measures, such as hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene.

This is why it is important now to make every effort to help both population and medical profession to avoid the influenza outbreak.

The World Health Organization confirms that vaccination is the most effective means of severe infection prevention.  The awareness campaign has been conducted for eight years in a row and serves to promote vaccination against seasonal flu among those groups who need it most.

jpgWHO Infographic Calls for Flu Shot

The excess risk of infection threatens health workers who need protection too. First of all, vaccination of older people should be promoted, as this autumn and winter they will face a double risk of COVID-19 and influenza.

The most vulnerable groups are pregnant women, individuals with chronic health conditions and children under five years of age. The campaign will also ensure wider performance of other preventive practices such as hand and respiratory hygiene.

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