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Don’t ‘roll the dice’ with the flu shot this year, experts say

Experts advise Americans to hedge their bets and get their flu shots

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The CDC recommends everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu shot every season. Children who received their flu shot were less likely to suffer severe COVID-19 symptoms, according to a new study from the University of Missouri School of Medicine.

The CDC recommends everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu shot every season.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Experts are calling on all Americans to get their flu shots this year as the country continues to face the threat of the novel coronavirus.

There are people who will avoid getting the flu shot during the winter. But this is not the year to do that since the fall and winter will provide tough times due to the pandemic and flu season, experts said.

  • “We are really trying to get people to get vaccinated this year of all years, this is not the year you want to roll the dice,” Dr. Jennifer Vines told KATU-2 in Oregon.
  • “The flu shot may not prevent you from getting the flu, but it will prevent you from getting really sick from the flu or worse.”
  • “COVID has been unpredictable, the flu is unpredictable, but we know the fall and winter months are bad for respiratory illness. So, we need to double down on what we know works: vaccine, face coverings, minimizing people interacting with and social distance and doing good hand-washing,” Dr. Vines said.

Evidence continues to grow that measures to defeat the novel coronavirus might actually cut back on flu cases, which I wrote about forDeseret.com.

Researchers recently told Scientific American that the coronavirus measures — like hand-washing, mask-wearing and social distancing — could slow the spread of the flu.

  • “The belief is this was the result of wearing masks, more frequent hand-washing, physical distancing and less large gatherings,” Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association told Salon. “Influenza and the common cold are diseases spread person to person in much the same way as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. So, efforts to reduce COVID-19 have the dual benefit of reducing colds and flu.”

Add in a flu shot, and case counts could drop dramatically. Getting a flu shot could keep you out of the hospital, too, which would save beds for those infected with COVID-19.