Flu season is coming: Don’t forget your vaccine

Flu Shots

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Aajene Robinson

The common flu took a major backseat in 2020, but with fewer mask requirements and more people returning to offices, restaurants, travel and shopping, this year’s influenza season won’t be as quiet.

DCH Health System Vice President of Marketing and Communications Andy North said the flu vaccine is as necessary as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

North said there are some big differences between the yearly flu vaccine and those cutting down on COVID-19 infections.

Because the COVID-19 vaccines are so new, there’s higher hesitancy regarding it compared with the flu vaccine, which has been around in some form since 1945.

“Flu season numbers have stayed pretty low throughout the pandemic and I think a large part of that is people have been social distancing, washing their hands more, wearing masks more,” North said. “The flu doesn’t seem the spread quite as fast of COVID, though I’m not a doctor and don’t know all of that for sure. Each year, the variants are different with the flu so it might be more contagious one year compared to another.”

North said DCH is requiring its employees to get vaccinated against the flu, as it has for several years. Flu vaccination rates are near 100%, he said. In comparison, the COVID-19 vaccination rate is around 70%.

North said he encourages vaccinations for everyone eligible in the community.

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