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COVID-19: With Virus Still Around, Getting Flu Shot Now More Important Than Ever, Experts Say

The flu vaccine will not interfere with the body's ability to fight off COVID-19 -- in fact, according to the CDC, it is more important now than ever before to get vaccinated.
The flu vaccine will not interfere with the body's ability to fight off COVID-19 -- in fact, according to the CDC, it is more important now than ever before to get vaccinated. Photo Credit: Provided

The flu vaccine will not interfere with the body's ability to fight off COVID-19 -- in fact, according to the CDC, it is more important now than ever before to get vaccinated

Less than 50 percent of adults got a flu vaccine in the 2017-2018 flu season, according to the CDC; an even smaller percentage of adult minorities were vaccinated that year, according to the agency. 

Although social distancing is still encouraged in light of the pandemic, officials recommend making an exception to get vaccinated. 

"Since hospitals and doctors' offices are going to be very busy caring for COVID-19 patients, a flu vaccine can help decrease burdens on the health care system and make sure that those who need medical care are able to get it," said Dr. Susan Bailey, president of the American Medical Association and an immunologist in Fort Worth, Texas, to CNN reporters.

Moreover, due to workplace norms instilled by the pandemic, individuals with flu symptoms will probably get a COVID-19 test done, wasting the time of both patients and medical staff and depleting the number of tests available.

However, the urgency to get vaccinated is not just due to possible hospital overcrowding--according to a Stanford study conducted in April, it is possible to contract both COVID-19 and a flu virus concurrently. 

According to the study, which was conducted using 1217 COVID-19 swab tests, 20.7 percent of the 116 tests that were positive for COVID also indicated the presence of a flu strain.

According to the CDC, manufacturers will make available between 194 and 198 doses of flu vaccines during the 2020-2021 flu season. The agency said that manufacturers have not indicated any delays in the vaccines' production.

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