Flu shots needed to prevent 'twindemic'

Henrietta Strickland
October 22, 2020

The health authority says it has roughly 77,000 doses for the 2020 flu season, up from 65,000 in 2019.

A concerted effort is now underway to get Ohioans vaccinated before flu activity is widespread to prevent that worst-case scenario from unfolding.

Among other organizations, the department is working with Federally Qualified Health Centers - or FQHCs, which receive federal dollars to provide primary care and other health-related resources in underserved communities - to expand access to the vaccine.

Global Positioning System in Northern Ireland are being forced to cancel flu clinics as the country has run out of stock for the under-65s vaccine. The agency estimates those vaccinations may have prevented 7.5 million flu illnesses, 105,000 hospitalizations and 6,300 deaths.

The government has ordered a record 1.96 million doses of vaccine, enough to immunize 45 per cent of the population.

The vaccine is recommended for anyone 6 months old or older, particularly for the elderly, pregnant women and young children who are at higher risk for serious complications from the flu.

To date, much of the media focus has been on seasonal influenza vaccines, but with prevention a hot topic more broadly, there is also the potential for manufacturers of vaccines against other diseases to tap in to this (unless, of course, they are focused on the globally slumping travel health market.).

The CDC suggests "people who have been identified as having suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should not be scheduled for vaccinations until their isolation period is over".

"We don't know what it's going to be like for an individual to have flu and COVID-19 at the same time", said Tami Gough, director of health education and prevention services for Allen County Public Health.

"We want to emphasize that this is the first version of our plan", Michele Roberts, Acting Assistant Secretary with executive oversight for COVID-19 vaccines, said in a statement.

Northern Health is urging residents of Prince George to get a flu shot, claiming it is more important than ever to be immune to influenza.

The department, hoping to prevent the collision of flu outbreaks with the COVID-19 pandemic - especially as COVID cases climb - is taking a more active role in the vaccination of Michiganders.

Most Northern Health flu clinics will start the first week of November, and flu vaccines will also be available from pharmacies and doctor's offices throughout the region. Students from Wright State were also on hand to give flu shots.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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