Bad flu weather can cause stress on hospitals and clinics already doing the COVID-19 epidemic, adding urgency to annual public health campaigns, reminding people to get their flu shots – and reluctant or skeptical of vaccinations To bear
Sonoma County Health Officer Drs. Sundry Massey said the county is planning drive-through flu shot clinics to increase the likelihood that more people will be vaccinated. In March and April, some local residents contracted both COVID-19 and influenza, complicating their illnesses, according to Mase.
“We are encouraging everyone to get the flu vaccine,” Massey said.
The flu vaccine is widely known by health experts to be safe and effective which can have devastating effects of influenza, especially for the elderly and young.
Influenza is an infectious respiratory disease that is completely different from a common cold, and can result in mild illness, along with other symptoms such as cough, sore throat and congestion, the flu can also cause severe body aches and fever. Can.
Between October and April, 24,000 to 62,000 people died of influenza, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The data are presented as a limitation because health monitoring systems do not capture all cases of flu, and therefore the disease is considered to be much more prevalent than reports of testing and hospitalization. The CDC estimates that between 39 million and 56 million people in the nation contracted influenza in the same time period between last fall and spring.
“This year’s vaccine is going to be very important because when you layer the flu and coronavirus epidemics – that can lead it to a boom,” Dr. Gary Green said medical director of infection control at Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital.
Influenza and COVID-19 are caused by completely different viruses, but the disease usually comes with fever and chills.
And for those who get influenza, it has “a tremendous inflammatory effect on the body”, which can make it difficult for that person to fight COVID-19 according to Green.
Green cited research from Brazil, which is emerging from its flu season, suggesting people who received influenza vaccines were more likely to contract COVID-19.
This year, the flu vaccine has four strains, two for influenza A and two for influenza B. Green is said to have included just two or three strains in prior years, and this year’s vaccine should provide additional protection.
There is also a strong dose often given to people 65 and older or those with more debilitating vulnerability.
Influenza typically kills the East Coast first around September and then makes its way to the West Coast.
Green is said to be a “sweet spot” in late September or early October, although he is already giving high-dose flu vaccines to elderly patients.
“We know that the flu vaccine safety will last for months,” Green said, noting that the vaccine-approved Food and Drug Administration did not provide information on how long the vaccine provides protection to the body. “The FDA never asked, ‘Will the antibodies last for six months?” ”
While some people who get flu shots can still contract influenza, getting vaccinated means the disease is likely to be much less severe, said Kathleen Sarmento, director of nursing at Santa Rosa Community Health.
Sarmento said patients often claim they got the flu after being vaccinated – and health providers are constantly trying to dispel that notion, which is unfounded.
As with face masks worn during an epidemic, a flu shot is an important public health safeguard that helps prevent a person from getting sick or spreading the disease to others, she said.
“Keeping yourself healthy can help keep others healthy,” Sarmento said. “Go here, get your flu shot. It would be worth it to do that.”
You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 707-521-5220 or [email protected] @Jjpressdem on Twitter