True influenza is a serious illness and is not comparable to a cold. The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) therefore recommends vaccination for people who are at increased risk of a severe course of the flu. This includes older people aged 60 and over, pregnant women and chronically ill people.

But not everyone knows that a flu vaccination would be useful for them. Anyone can now do an online check at the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) to find out whether a flu vaccination is recommended. Among other things, questions about age and possible previous illnesses are asked. And the result then shows whether a vaccination is recommended according to STIKO or not. The check is part of the “We get ahead of the flu” vaccination campaign, with which the BZgA and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) call on people at increased risk to get a flu vaccination.

According to a representative survey by the BZgA, people from the groups with an increased risk do not get vaccinated against flu every year because they do not consider flu to be a serious illness (42 percent of those surveyed) or they do not consider themselves to be in a group for which a vaccination is recommended (39 percent of those surveyed). A total of 1,252 people with an increased health risk who do not get regular flu vaccinations were surveyed for this question. A total of 5,000 people aged 16 to 85 were interviewed in the survey in July and August 2022.

Even in the last flu season, a large proportion of people with a health risk did not get vaccinated against flu. According to the RKI, only 43 percent of people over 60 were vaccinated in the flu winter of 2021/2022. It was 35 percent of chronically ill adults and 18 percent of pregnant women.

Sources: BZgA 1, BZgA 2, RKI