The Role of the Flu During the Pandemic
Ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a wild trade of misinformation concerning the nature of the flu, how it compares to COVID-19, and its prevalence in a post-pandemic world. When initial measures to help slow or stop the spread of COVID-19 were widely enforced, there was a corresponding drop in flu cases.
This drop was falsely reported by many as a disappearance in the flu. As precautionary measures against COVID-19 have become more relaxed—masking and social distancing most prevalently—flu cases have experienced a tremendous resurgence.
Flu Cases on the Rise
A report released by the World Health Organization on December 12, 2022 confirmed that cases of the flu are on the rise globally. Likewise, flu season emerged earlier than normal this cycle. Cases typically begin to escalate in December or January; however, there were 1.6 million flu cases by early November 2022, with higher-than-normal activity across 44 states in early December.
In fact, the number of influenza hospitalizations was the highest it had been in a decade in early December.
The increase is providing additional strain on an already overtaxed healthcare system, as COVID-19 cases and RSV cases are also on the rise. The result is a shortage of hospital beds, a stressed medical staff, longer ER wait times, and delayed access to medical care for other chronic conditions, such as cancer and heart disease.
The best weapon against influenza remains the flu vaccine.
How Vaccines Provide Protection Against the Flu
There has been a lot of talk about the effectiveness of vaccines over the last three years. The goal of any vaccine is to slow the spread of the illness and minimize the threat it poses to the vulnerable population who contract it.
Because viruses like the flu mutate as they spread, vaccines are tasked to keep up with variants and strains to provide the best possible protection for others. We have seen how vaccines can help prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death, particularly among those who are most at risk owing to preexisting conditions.
Combat Rising Flu Cases with Quality Clinical Research
Knowing how important the flu vaccine is for our friends, family, and all members of our community, QPS is engaging in a clinical research study to evaluate the safety and tolerability of an investigational flu vaccine in healthy men and women.
Through clinical research, it has been determined that flu vaccines are associated with lower rates of cardiac events among people with heart disease. Quality clinical research has also helped answer questions like, “When is the best time to get a flu shot?” Or, even more crucially, “Can pregnant women get flu shots?”
Because of the research conducted, we know the answer to that question is yes. We also know the flu shot benefits unborn children, providing protection for infants via the antibodies they receive through placenta and breastmilk. This is important as the baby’s first flu shot can’t be administered until after the infant is 6 months old.
This is why clinical research is important. It’s why we hope you will help us as we take steps to further perfect the flu shots available today.
Upcoming QPS Missouri Study
This QPS study will include three outpatient visits, with the first starting on January 16, 2023.
Interested in participating? QPS is looking for participants who meet the following criteria:
- Healthy Men & Women
- Smoking & Non-Smoking
- Available for 3-outpatient visits
- Must live within a 2-hour radius of Springfield, Missouri
Your participation in this study will come with a stipend of up to $1,047. That’s right! You can make up to $1,047 by helping us gather more information on potentially life-saving vaccines.
As flu cases continue to increase around the globe, you can be a part of an effort that will help prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death for thousands, if not millions of people.
Reach out to QPS to see if you are eligible to participate in this study!