Time to get flu shots as influenza stronger now: Expert

Flu is back this season, and with the influenza viruses getting even stronger, now is the right time to get vaccination shots, says an expert.

"Respiratory infections have begun to be seen. We started seeing more people around with runny noses and sneezing. The first cases of the flu emerged, and the World Health Organization issued its warnings," stated Serhat Ünal, a member of Hacettepe University's Medicine Faculty.

"We are in the cold season right now. The cases of influenza were less in the previous two years compared to today," Ünal added.

Pointing out that flu cases usually peak after such long breaks, Ünal stated that the WHO determined that this peak will be experienced due to three factors this year.

"The biological explosion is expected as the silence of influenza continued for a long time," he explained.

Secondly, the WHO foresaw that with the removal of the mask mandate and distance rule, the ability of transmission increased, the doctor stated.

Finally, the opening of schools and completely turning back to face-to-face education two years later raise the possibility of contamination, Ünal stated, adding that now is the best time to get a flu jab.

"Those in the risk group can already get flu vaccine free of charge. Also, the parents who are not in the risk group but if their children go to school, they can get vaccinated," Ünal explained.

Noting that influenza is a virus that has frequent variants, Özel stated that there are A and B viruses that cause illness and previously, the vaccine was made by putting two A and one B viruses.

"When it was understood that B virus was also experienced a lot, two B viruses were included in the vaccine formula," he explained.

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