JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -As fall and winter quickly approaches many people are fearing that a combination of the upcoming flu season and COVID-19 could be deadly.
That is why health officials are encouraging people to get your flu shots.
Dr. Justin Turner said, “If we have the presence of COVID-19, which has a lot of similar symptoms of the flu that would make things very, very difficult.”
Dr Justin Turner with Turner Care is part of large medical community gearing up to fight against the flu this upcoming season and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He says that can equal double trouble.
“Flu season starts in October and it normally runs through March, and we normally see our peaks in January and February. This make things very, very difficult for healthcare workers who are trying to decide if it’s the flu or is this COVID-19, because of fevers, coughs and a lot of those things are the same. So it’s gonna be an important issue probably compared to any other year that we have to look into getting a vaccination.”
Everyone 6 months of age and older can get a flu shot-with a few exceptions.
“Anybody with six months or below, anyone with Guillain-Barré syndrome or anyone who has always had a life-threatening allergy to eggs or a particles of the flu vaccine shouldn’t get it, everyone else should get the flu vaccine.”
The CDC is working with healthcare providers and state and local health departments to develop contingency plans on how to vaccinate people against flu without increasing their risk of exposure to respiratory germs.
For the 2020-2021 season, manufacturers have projected they will provide as many as 194-198 million doses of flu vaccine, which is more than the 175 million dose record set during the 2019-2020 flu season.
"In America we probably have 48% of people who get the flu vaccine every year, so it’s less than half Americans. With a possible twin-demic, that is what we will be calling it as far as the flu and COVID-19, you don’t wanna put any more on your body than it has to. It’s kind a like someone who’s carrying a book bag to school, and you have four books, and what if someone else comes along and says carry my bags for me as well. Just because your body can do it just because doesn’t mean that it should and that is the mindset we have to have. So, don’t take the risk of trying to battle COVID and the flu .
Turner admits there are a lot of misconceptions about flu vaccinations. Can the vaccine cause a flu illness?
“Listen, it takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to reach its peak immunity to protect you . If I get the flu tomorrow and I got the flu vaccine today I was going to get the flu regardless because it takes two weeks for T cells and antibodies to enter into your body.”
Turner says if you feel sick and think you contracted the flu or COVID call your local physician immediately.