Massimo Galli at the Wired Next Fest 2020: “Forcing children to have a flu shot? Extreme, but reasonable”


With 8 thousand elderly people who die every year from the flu and children who can be carriers of contagion, here is the opinion of the infectious disease specialist from Sacco di Milano

Make the mandatory flu shot also for children, so as to protect their grandparents. A prospect “Extreme, but reasonable” second Massimo Galli, professor at the University of Milan and director of the hospital’s infectious disease clinic Luigi Sacco. A comment that comes precisely on the day when the Ministry of Health provides with a circular the free of charge of this vaccine for children from 6 months to 6 years (and over 60 years) in the flu season 2020-2021.

The infectious disease specialist spoke at the first digital appointment of the Wired Next Fest 2020, dedicated to innovation in the field of health, to tell about his experience of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. On this occasion he had the opportunity to broaden the discussion to the topic of vaccinations, in particular for the elderly.

The percentages of vaccinated against influenza among the low over 65those against pneumococcus are very low. Still, he stressed, “Every year more or less 8 thousand old people go to another world because of the flu “.

The mechanism, he continued, “It is very clear: the child gets the flu and therefore his grandfather also takes it. The little ones act as amplifiers and infect the older ones “. For this reason many countries have decided to make the flu shot for the little ones.

“Beyond all the criticisms, I believe it was sacrosanct and indispensable to return to the vaccine obligation, the disaffection towards the vaccine towards diseases that we should have removed from the horizons, such as measles, had become alarming”.

As for making the flu vaccine mandatory in children, “It is a measure that I find quite extreme, but in some respects reasonable”.

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