Ready for a Twindemic? How Families Can Best Prepare For the impacts of the Flu and COVID-19
Is the worse yet to come? Is it possible to prepare for twindemic of Flu AND Coronavirus?
While the number of people infected by the flu each year fluctuates based on a variety of factors such as virus strains and characteristics of the person being vaccinated, the CDC findings suggest that about 8% of the United States population contracts symptomatic flu illness every year. However, this flu season will be different than those of the past, as this year the US is also navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many questions and anxieties remain surrounding the global pandemic, including when a vaccine will be available, whether a second wave is coming, or even when the first wave will end. Amid increased uncertainty, and as a result of the impacts of both the flu and COVID-19, doctors are actively preparing their communities to help stay protected and healthy.
This year, an important action that parents can take for their families is to talk to a healthcare provider about getting a flu vaccine. In fact, the CDC is encouraging flu vaccination for the upcoming season, now more than ever, to help reduce the burden on the healthcare system.
While some people regularly get a flu vaccine, others do not. There are several vaccine options available, even for those who prefer a needle-free option. The CDC does not recommend one flu vaccine over another. It is important to speak to your healthcare provider to determine which vaccine is right for you and your loved ones.
Dr. Ravi Jhaveri, MD, Associate Division Head of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine joined me to discuss how parents can prepare their families for this year’s flu season, while navigating alongside a global pandemic.