Health officials urge public to get flu shots in addition to coronavirus vaccine

health officials urge public to get flu shots in addition to coronavirus vaccine

Sumary of Health officials urge public to get flu shots in addition to coronavirus vaccine:

  • With the new flu season just underway, health officials are urging the public to get their annual shots, which can be administered at the same time as COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Public health experts nationwide warned in 2020 of a possible “twindemic” of flu and COVID-19 that never materialized.
  • The threat remains, but the same health and safety measures aimed at keeping the coronavirus in check — mask wearing, hand washing, social distancing and limits on gatherings — so far have proved effective in curtailing the spread of influenza viruses.
  • State Department of Health influenza surveillance data through all but the final week of the 2020-2021 flu season, which ended Sept.
  • 26, shows that only 0.8% of outpatient visits to “sentinel” health care providers involved patients with influenza-like illness.
  • That compares with 2.1% of outpatient visits during the 2019-2020 flu season and 2.4% in the “moderate” 2018-2019 season, before COVID-19 hit the islands.
  • The DOH has separately reported only a single death from influenza during the 2020-2021 flu season compared to 29 the previous season.
  • But the just-announced easing of restrictions as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have declined in recent weeks could open the door to more widespread flu infections, according to Ron Balajadia, chief of the DOH Immunization Branch.

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