The coronavirus cases put immense pressure on the public healthcare system. Many experts believe that the system will come under more stress during the flu season. However, getting timely flu shots can help reduce the pressure on the system.
Dr. Siu Ming Geary is a physician and the primary care for Scripps Clinic Medical Group vice president as well. According to Dr. Geary, people should start getting influenza vaccinations now if they do it every year. Also, the people who do not get the shots should start getting them now.
Flu and coronavirus infection have multiple similar symptoms. Both of these include fever, headache, coughing, and fatigue. Both influenza and Covid-19 are respiratory tract infections. Some experts also suggest that getting both infections at the same time can worsen the condition of the patient. However, they are not sure about the illness since the flu season is not here yet.
Geary also said that the doctors are not sure how much worse the flu season will get this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, people can get both infections simultaneously.
These infections can become severe and lead to several health complications. In severe cases, influenza and Covid-19 lead to hospitalization of the patient or even death.
The coronavirus pandemic started earlier this year and took over most of the countries. The world is still fighting with the pandemic and there is no vaccine available yet. However, there is a flu vaccine available that can prevent influenza. Doctors believe that the flu vaccine can help reduce the pressure on the healthcare facilities.
Influenza virus killed nearly 62,000 individuals last year all over the US. The cases were even worse in the year before that. Overall, 79,000 people died due to the influenza virus in the US alone. The virus can cause severe infection which leads to the mortality of the patient.
Geary said that many experts contradict on when to get the influenza vaccine. Health experts from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest getting a flu shot at the end of next month. However, people can get these shots as early as now since the country is still struggling with the coronavirus pandemic.
Geary also mentions that the country should have an ample supply of influenza vaccine this year. Previously people faced a shortage of this vaccine. However, this should not be the case this time. Within the previous year, vaccine manufacturing companies produced 20 million vaccine doses. Meanwhile, the country produced a record number of doses this year never produced before with 198 million doses of the flu shots.
According to the CDC, people above the age of 6 months should get the flu shot every year. This precaution is particularly important for people at high risk of influenza infection. Older people and younger children, pregnant women, asthma patients should ensure flu shots every year.
The vaccine is also important for people with chronic health conditions such as heart disease, blood pressure, or diabetes. The vaccine this year will protect against a wider range of influenza strains.