What Are We In-Store For This Flu Season?

G. Cruz

The United States is preparing for a poor flu season on top of the ongoing COVID-19 issue, with a request for Americans to get vaccinated against both on Thursday. Dr. Rochelle, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stated, “I get it: We are all tired of talking about vaccines.”

Walensky, who had her flu shot earlier this week as she has every year since she was a medical student in 1995, noted that “it is doubly important this year” to get your flu shot. “We are preparing for the return of the flu.”

During the pandemic, global flu cases fell to historically low levels, thanks to limitations aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus and preventing the spread of other respiratory infections. With schools and businesses reopening, international travel returning, and significantly less masking, it’s impossible to say how devastating the flu season will be in the United States this winter.

Officials are concerned, though, because a separate respiratory virus known as RSV, which usually affects young children in the winter, resurfaced last summer as soon as people stopped wearing masks.

“Is that a harbinger of a worse influenza season? We don’t know,” said Dr. William Schaffner of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, “but we certainly don’t want a ‘twindemic,’ both COVID and influenza,.”

If you still need a COVID-19 immunization, either for the first time or as a booster, you can have it at the same time you get your flu shot. The CDC recommends that everyone, starting with 6-month-old babies, get a flu shot once a year. Influenza is particularly deadly for the elderly, children under the age of five, persons with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, and pregnant women.

According to CDC figures released on September 30th, nearly half of the eligible population received their flu vaccination last autumn, about the same as they did before the epidemic. Last year, though, Walensky was concerned about a minor reduction in kid flu vaccinations, as well as expanding racial and ethnic discrepancies. Last year, compared to 56 percent of whites, 43 percent of Black Americans and 45 percent of Hispanics received flu vaccinations.

Vaccination manufacturers are expected to supply 188 million to 200 million doses of flu vaccine, according to the CDC. Most people with insurance can receive one without having to pay a copay. Regular shots, shots aimed at giving older persons a little more protection, and a nasal spray are all options. All of them provide protection against four different flu types that doctors think will spread the most this year.

Officials recommended older persons and others with chronic conditions to acquire a vaccine against a type of pneumonia that is a common consequence at the same time they get immunized against the flu.


Source: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/is-a-twindemic-of-flu-and-covid-19-about-to-hit-the-us