Almost 70% of Brazilians are unaware of the severity of the flu

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Research reveals that 68% of Brazilians have little or no knowledge that the flu virus can worsen pre-existing diseases, such as cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes, especially in the elderly.

With the aim of understanding the knowledge of the Brazilian population regarding the impacts beyond the flu on the elderly, the Sanofi study in partnership with ALS Perception was carried out in February 2024 with people aged 40 years and over, from the five regions of the country, from classes A, B, C, D/E, representing the Brazilian population.

The results show that 23% of respondents perceive no or low risk associated with choosing not to get vaccinated against the flu, and seven in ten of Brazilians responsible for ensuring the vaccination of someone over 60 say they do not know which vaccines they should take. . Furthermore, only a third of those interviewed showed complete knowledge that the flu virus can cause a major impact on vital organs, such as the heart, lungs and brain, especially in the elderly – the population that suffers most from the complications of the disease.

According to data from the Ministry of Health, the elderly represented 65.6% of deaths from influenza last year and 54.9% of hospitalizations due to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). When those who have some comorbidity are analyzed, they have even more complications as a result of SARS caused by influenza. Mortality among those with comorbidities was twice as high compared to elderly people without comorbidities.

Despite this, the study demonstrated the population’s lack of knowledge regarding the relationship between the flu and the risk of developing cardiovascular complications, such as heart attack and stroke, for example. Only a quarter of those interviewed said they knew about the risks.

The equivalent of 43% of Brazilians over 40 years of age also stated that they knew the negative impact of the flu virus on quality of life due to debilitating symptoms and, almost a third of those interviewed were unaware of the existence of specific vaccines to protect the elderly population. .

The research also shows that when looking at the data by social class, the lack of knowledge about the dangers of the disease becomes even more evident. Nine out of ten people in class A know that the flu vaccine is recommended for their age group, compared to two thirds in classes D and E.

Furthermore, the chances of a person in class A having full knowledge about the negative impact caused by the flu virus on quality of life is almost 30 percentage points higher than in classes D and E. Finally, eight out of ten people in class It is their health routine to keep their vaccinations up to date, following medical recommendations, unlike classes D and E, where this number is six in ten.

Currently, the trivalent vaccine, which provides protection against three types of strains of the Influenza virus, is available in the Unified Health System (SUS) for the following audiences:

– seniors aged 60 and over

– children aged 6 months to 5 years (those who will receive the vaccine for the first time must take two doses, with an interval of 30 days between them)

– pregnant and postpartum women

– teenagers complying with socio-educational measures

– population deprived of liberty

– people with chronic non-communicable diseases and other specific health conditions (documents proving the clinical condition must be presented)

– teachers

– Health professionals

– security and rescue forces professionals

– military personnel from the three Armed Forces

– truck drivers

– port workers

– public road transport workers

– employees of the prison system.

When attending one of the immunization points, it is necessary to present an identification document and a vaccination booklet.

flu art target audience
flu art target audience

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Brazilians unaware severity flu

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