As winter draws near, health experts are advising in favor of flu vaccine shots to limit flu cases to flood hospitals and for people to develop immunization from it while the chance of Covid-19 transmission is still high. Across the North Coast, however, people have already begun receiving the newest influenza vaccine.
In the opinion of health experts, this will play a critical part in developing immunization. A difficult flu season won’t be easy on hospitals and clinics that are already weighed down by the burdens brought by the coronavirus cases. Therefore experts are encouraging people to get vaccinated as it is now a matter of urgency.
Dr. Sundari Mase is a health officer at Sonoma County. Mase explains that the county is currently planning for the county to have access to drive-thru clinics that will provide influenza vaccine shots. In their opinion, this will encourage the likelihood of more and more people getting a vaccine shot.
During March as well as April, some people in the areas were infected by both influenza and coronavirus, which exacerbated their condition according to Mase.
Things like these can be prevented therefore if people choose to get vaccinated for influenza and limit their chances of catching a double disease.
Mase encourages everyone strongly to heed their advice and get the flu vaccine.
Most people confuse influenza with the common cold. The two however are separate conditions and influenza or flu can cause anything from mild illness to serious body aches, fevers, and other symptoms such as congestion, sore throat as well as coughing.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 24,000 and 62,000 patients of influenza passed away during October and April.
This data shows a range because systems of health surveillance never catch every case of influenza. Therefore it is easy to conclude that the illness may be far more widespread than reports from testing and cases of hospitalizations suggest.
CDC believes an estimated between 39 to 59 million people in the country have caught influenza in the time between fall as well as spring.
Dr. Gary Green is a medical director of infection control. He says it is important to encourage flu vaccines because if influenza cases combine with coronavirus cases then the surge could be large.
Even though influenza and COVID-19 are separate virus-driven illnesses, both lead to similar sets of symptoms such as sudden chills or fevers.
According to Green, if a person catches influenza it can have a serious effect on the body and turn it weak against the coronavirus and thus will make it harder for the body to fight off the illness.
Citing research from Brazil, Green says data suggests that people who got vaccinated for the flu had better chances of surviving the lethal coronavirus.
Usually, flu vaccines contain 3 or 2 strains, this year’s vaccine however includes 4 strains so that protection is maximum for those that receive it.
There is also availability for a greater dosage for those as old as or over the age of 65 that maybe even more susceptible to illnesses.
According to Green, the end of September and the beginning of October are ideal times to get the influenza vaccine despite already administering vaccines to elderly people. While a person can still catch the illness despite being vaccinated, the disease will not be as severe as it would be if you didn’t get vaccinated.
Therefore this winter season, a flu vaccine is our best bet to gather immunity against the coming threat of coronavirus.