Why flu vaccine is more important during COVID-19
Although we can’t predict exactly what will happen this fall and winter, flu will likely arrive while COVID-19 is still circulating, and that makes it even more important to get a flu vaccination. We asked Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, to explain why.
Why is it particularly important to get a flu vaccine this season?
Jeff Duchin: The prospect of our annual flu outbreak compounding COVID-19 during this fall and winter’s “respiratory virus” season is worrisome. Hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices are likely to be busy caring for COVID-19 patients and other health needs. Getting a flu vaccine will help keep you and your loved ones out of those medical settings. Flu vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of getting the flu by about half, and importantly also reduces the risk for severe illness and hospitalization for those who do get the flu. That will both reduce your risk for becoming ill and for needing medical attention. It also helps ensure hospitals and medical resources are available for COVID-19 patients and others who need them.