28.01.2019 - It’s influenza (flu) season again in Switzerland, and this week the virus reached the epidemic threshold. Flu takes more lives than any other infectious disease in Europe, but a simple and effective yearly vaccine can reduce the chance you will catch it. Unfortunately, fewer people overall, and especially fewer elderly people, are opting to be vaccinated for seasonal flu.
When ISPM researchers analysed data from the 2007-2012 Swiss health surveys, they found that only around 15% of the Swiss population had been vaccinated; the percentage was the same among healthcare staff. Among those aged 65 or older, about 40% had been vaccinated, and, among those with chronic illnesses, only about 50%. In those 65 and older, living in French-speaking region and in urban areas, history of smoking, poor self-reported health status, health insurance that covers private/semiprivate hospital stays, and working in healthcare professions was associated with more people being vaccinated within the last year. These numbers indicate the urgent need to promote flu vaccination in Switzerland.