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The Flu Shot, Essential Tool for Fighting COVID-19

Posted By Louise Probst, Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Flu season is on our doorstep and how we prepare matters. While no one knows what the upcoming flu season will bring, Dr. Jay Butler, the Centers for Disease Control, Deputy Director of Infectious Diseases, has warned that the flu and COVID-19 could be circulating together as we move into the fall and winter months stating, “If anything, we must over prepare for what we might face later this year.” Preparing means that everyone, 6 months and up gets a flu vaccine, particularly those that are pregnant, over the age of 65 or have a chronic illness. 

 

According to the CDC, the 2019 – 2020 flu season was mild. Still, there were between 39 million to 56 million cases of the flu, up to 740,000 hospitalizations and between 24,000 to 62,000 deaths. Add COVID-19 infections and this potential “twindemic,” or simultaneous outbreak of these two serious infections, could overtax regional health care systems and be catastrophic for patients trying to fight off both conditions at once.

 

Some fear that with COVID-19 center stage the public may forego the annual flu vaccine. Stay at home orders, fewer workers coming into the office and hesitancy to utilize elective medical services while COVID-19 looms could all deter people from getting their flu vaccine this year. As it is, in a normal year, only about half of the population gets a flu shot.

 

Employers can help bolster these numbers by helping employees understand that, in the face of the pandemic, the flu shot is an essential part of protecting their and their family’s health and fulfilling their civic duty. Taking definitive action, the University of California system recently in the face of the pandemic announced that because of the pandemic, it is requiring all 230,000 employees and 280,000 students to get the flu vaccine by November 1.

The potential of vaccines is enormous; it is one way we can each make a difference in our community. To find educational resources to share with your employees and to learn about discounted flu shot pricing available from BHC preferred vendors, please click here.



Warm Regards,

 

Louise Y. Probst
BHC Executive Director

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