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Influenza: 5.2 million cases in 2018, 2019 will be less?

Influenza in Poland broke another record. In 2018, the number of influenza cases and suspicions amounted to 5.2 million. The incidence of the disease has been growing year by year for many years now. For example, in 2013 there were 2 million fewer cases.

It seems, however, that 2019 may bring a reversal of this trend. In January and February, the number of cases was lower by nearly 14% compared to the same period of the previous year. In total, in the season 2018/2019 (understood as the period from October to February) the number of cases fell almost 11% year on year and amounted to almost 2.8 million.

One of the reasons for a lower incidence may be an increase in vaccination rates. All this is due to the fact that the flu vaccine under the Drugs 75+ programme is covered by reimbursement. From July 2018 the purchase of a vaccine by seniors is reimbursed in 50%. According to PEX PharmaSequence data, between October 2017 and September 2018 pharmacies sold nearly 0.5 million packages of flu vaccines. For comparison, a year earlier it was 50,000 fewer packages. So far, according to GIS data, only about 4% of Poles have been vaccinated against influenza.

According to PMR data, in 2018-2023 the market of OTC products used in cases of colds and flu (medicines and dietary supplements) will develop at a rate of about 5% per year on average. Generally, we have been observing sinusoidal dynamics of changes in this segment for many years, despite a constant increase in the number of cases.

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