TUESDAY, Oct. 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Experts warn that the upcoming flu season could be severe as social distancing measures are relaxed across the United States, but a new survey finds 6 in 10 Americans may delay or skip a flu shot.
However, it also found that 98% of those who contracted the flu last season plan to get vaccinated again this year.
While 82% of 1,000 adults in the online survey said they think more about their health because of COVID-19, only 26% said that COVID-19 makes them more likely to catch the flu this year.
Latinos were more likely to say COVID-19 had an impact on the decision to get a flu shot (57%) than non-Hispanics (38%), according to the survey by the American Heart Association (AHA).
“If there’s ever been a year to prioritize getting a flu shot early in the season, that’s it,” American Heart Association president Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones said in an association news release. “The flu will return this year, and the flu vaccine as soon as possible will provide the most protection for you and your loved ones.
“The flu virus will have an easier time spreading this year with more people at school, church, sporting events, etc. It is very important for you to get your flu shot this year and to make sure you and your loved ones are,” said Lloyd-Jones, chief of preventive medicine at the College of Medicine. Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg in Chicago:
He noted that getting a flu shot will help prevent a “double pandemic” and reduce the risk of one or two punches of severe flu and severe COVID-19 together or in sequence.
“We recommend the flu vaccine to basically everyone and especially people who may be at risk because they have chronic health conditions – things like diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity – as well as people who are likely to be at higher risk, such as health,” Lloyd-Jones said: “Care workers and people who work in an essential job are on the front lines where they interact with a lot of different people.”
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting a flu shot by October 31 for the best seasonal protection, and recommends a flu shot for everyone 6 months and older, with a few exceptions.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers more about the flu vaccine.
Source: American Heart Association, press release, October 12, 2021