Flu vaccine could help curb season amid fears of 'twindemic' due to COVID-19, experts say

Karen Jordan Image
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Experts warn of 'twindemic' as COVID-19, flu season to collide
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Health experts are strongly urging everyone to get vaccinated for the flu as the nation continues to battle the pandemic.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Health experts are strongly urging everyone to get vaccinated as the nation continues to battle the pandemic. However, a new study finds one-third of American parents have no plans to get their children vaccinated for the flu this year.

The country's health care system, already taxed by COVID-19, has its eye on flu season which is expected to rev up in October.

RELATED: Worldwide death toll from coronavirus eclipses 1 million

Health experts are already urging people to get their flu shots in hopes of keeping the respiratory illness from spreading causing a so-called "twindemic."

"The concern is, if we have continued COVID-19 infections, as well as a very busy flu season, that offices will be overwhelmed, urgent cares will be overwhelmed, hospitals will be overwhelmed," said Dr. Ravi Jhaveri at Lurie Children's Hospital.

While there is no approved vaccine for the novel coronavirus, there is one for influenza.

Doctors say getting a flu shot does not guarantee you won't get the flu, but it can decrease your odds and make any symptoms you may have less severe.

Doctor Lisa Ravindra with Rush University Medical Center said, at this point, there is enough supply to meet the demand.

"I've noticed that a lot of patients are much more responsive to me asking them to get the flu shot and they're even asking me, 'can I get a flu shot,'" Dr. Ravindra said.

But not everyone seems to be on board.

"There are a significant minority of people who don't get the flu vaccine no matter what they're told, no matter what data they're provided," Dr Jhaveri said.

In the meantime, Dr. Jhaveri said he is hopeful that even more people will get flu shots as the season continues.