Flu and other common cold viruses that have been suppressed by lockdowns are “bouncing back” and “becoming quite aggressive”, a leading expert has warned.
Professor Peter Openshaw, a virus expert at Imperial College London, said it is “very, very important that people do take the flu vaccine if they are offered it”.
It comes after Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), warned evidence showed that those who catch both COVID-19 and the flu are twice as likely to die.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisations advisory group also recommended on Monday that all countries should consider implementing seasonal influenza vaccines, especially targeting groups at higher risks.
Speaking to Sky News on Monday, Prof Openshaw warned that vaccinations are one of the main ways people can lessen the impact of influenza.
He said: “We’re all very concerned that influenza and other common cold viruses have been rather suppressed by this prolonged period of lockdown with COVID.