Flu pandemic could be worse than Covid-19 ever, says the National Academy of Medicine

The reports recommend work needs to start now to start developing next-generation vaccines and build capacity in low- and middle-income countries so they can produce their own vaccines. requests without depending on wealthy nations to provide them, the report recommends. And governments need to figure out how to ensure companies are motivated to work on these vaccines without knowing if they are used or needed.

However, from an epidemiological perspective, COVID-19 does not represent a ‘worst case’ pandemic scenario, such as the 1918-19 flu, which resulted in at least 50 million deaths worldwide”.

According to the WHO, flu kills anywhere from 290,000 to 650,000 people a year in a normal year. Covid-19 has killed 5.1 million people globally. The next flu pandemic could kill 33 million people, The Academy said.

It’s hard to predict when a new flu pandemic might strike – but one thing is for sure.

“Influenza pandemics have occurred several times, and experts are concerned that the risk of an influenza pandemic may be even higher in the COVID-19 era due to changes in global and regional conditions affecting people.” However, it is difficult to predict when it will happen, a larger flu pandemic is more a matter of “when” than “if”, it added.

Between flu and Covid-19, winter & # 39;  can be complicated & # 39;

One key recommendation: a global “example” to developing a global influenza vaccine that can protect people against current and future strains of influenza. Existing influenza vaccines must be regularly improved, adjusted annually, and do not protect against emerging strains that can cause pandemics.

And this needs to be done as a matter of global coordination.

“We have too many vulnerabilities and rely too much on informal arrangements, often under-funded,” one of the reports read. “For the scale of the threat, we are unfortunately poorly protected. We urgently need to strengthen our collective defenses against the influenza pandemic and must do so in a sustainable way.”

One report recommends having between 4 billion and 8 billion doses of flu vaccine ready as a precaution.

Dr Victor Dzau, president of the National Academy of Medicine, said in a statement: “Readiness must be an ongoing commitment – ​​it cannot be extended year after year, or crisis to crisis. ,” Dr. Victor Dzau, president of the National Academy of Medicine, said in a statement. “COVID-19 has facilitated the emergence of new capabilities, technologies, collaborations and policies that can also be deployed before and during the next influenza pandemic. It is important to invest in science, strengthen health systems, and ensure confidence to protect people from the health, social and economic consequences of seasonal and pandemic influenza.”

The upcoming flu season could be severe.  This is why
A report strongly recommend that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the Department of Defense, and others invest in new and better influenza vaccine research now. hour. “This will enable the selection of candidates best suited to the purpose for authorization and sufficient production and distribution to optimize influenza control across different contexts and phases of the pandemic.” and epidemics,” the report said.

“The World Health Organization should advocate and coordinate with multilateral stakeholders (e.g. Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), governments, donor agencies, the vaccine industry vaccines and charities to build strong and comparable global preclinical, clinical and immunological capacity with an international assessment of influenza vaccine candidates, including New contenders use innovative structures, targets, and delivery systems to potentially extend or improve protection,” it added.

One of the reports noted that the Covid-19 pandemic had shown that masks and other ways of keeping warm had contributed to a significant reduction in flu activity globally. “Masks will be simple and cost-effective during the next flu pandemic, and public health authorities should mandate their use, as demonstrated by the severity and incidence of influenza.” “, the Academy said in a statement.


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