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Flu shots more important amid pandemic

Posted at 6:14 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 00:07:48-04

EL PASO COUNTY — Many health leaders say it is more important than ever to get a flu shot this year. "I think part of the strategy is that we'll keep our immune systems robust," said El Paso County Public Health, Medical Director, Dr. Robin Johnson. Flu vaccination is a direct measure against the flu and an indirect way to lower the risk of getting COVID-19.

"You may have heard the term twindemic, where that would be the COVID pandemic and a flu, high flu season happening at the same time," said Safeway Pharmacy Director, Nikki Price. She is in Colorado Springs working a Flu Clinic in the parking lot outside the pharmacy. Many of the people getting shots have never had flu shot, but this year want to avoid the double threat from flu and COVID-19.The two viruses are different. There is a vaccine for flu, but not one for COVID-19. The problem is both can send people to the hospital with life threatening respiratory issues. “You start adding those together and you go okay, what if we end up with a bad flu season, and we still have COVID and now we're going to have how many hospitalizations?" said Dr. Johnson. Concerns about hospitals getting overwhelmed with patients is on-going.

On an individual level, a flu shot lowers your risk of coming down with flu. If you do get it, severity will be less. It means your body remains stronger to fight COVID-19 if you come in contact. "Keeping yourself healthier," said Dr. Johnson. Staying healthy is a layer for prevention along with hand washing, wearing masks, and social distancing.