New York — Around this time every year, healthcare professionals are beginning to tell the American people that they should be vaccinated against the flu. I’m saying the same thing this time, but the message is that it’s more important this year.
“Getting the flu vaccine between 2020 and 21 is more important than ever because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. website..
“Influenza vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of influenza, many of whom are also at high risk of COVID-19 or serious outcomes,” said the CDC.
An additional benefit of receiving the flu vaccine this season is “to reduce the burden on the overall healthcare system and save medical resources for the care of COVID-19 patients.”
The New York State Department of Health has added another reason to get a flu shot. Doctors do not know what the risk of having both the flu and the new coronavirus at the same time is. In addition, many of the symptoms of influenza are the same as the new coronavirus.
During the pandemic, state health professionals said obtaining influenza vaccines was especially important for mandatory workers, including healthcare workers, and other workers in mandatory businesses.
People at risk of serious illness from the new coronavirus are adults over the age of 65, residents of elderly housing with care or long-term care facilities, and those with underlying illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Dr. Daren Wu, Chief Medical Officer of the Open Door Family Medical Center in the lower Hudson Valley, says that while everyone is interested in the new coronavirus, influenza causes a weakened immune system of all kinds. Infections, including bacterial infections and other viruses such as COVID-19, said they are more susceptible to secondary infections.
“Influenza vaccination is not perfect, but it continues to frame the message that it is overwhelmingly safe and can give you significant protection.”
The State Health Department said the symptoms of influenza could include:
- Fever or fever / chills
- sore throat
- Runny nose or stuffy nose
- Muscle and body pain
- Vomiting or diarrhea (more common in children)
According to the CDC, the symptoms of the new coronavirus are:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or dyspnea
- Muscle and body pain
- New loss of taste and smell
- sore throat
- Stuffy nose and runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
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