Health Expert Says Flu Vaccinations Vital Amid COVID Variants

An illustration of COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

HYANNIS – Health experts are reminding the public of the importance of annual flu vaccinations, especially as the region wrestles with upticks in Covid-19 Delta variant cases.

Vice President of Health Education and Advocacy for the Alliance for Aging Research Lindsay Clarke said that getting yearly vaccinations against the flu will help keep stress low on the healthcare system already wrestling with COVID variants.

“We saw a huge decline in people getting routine vaccines last year, so we really want to encourage people to get those routine vaccines and think about the flu again,” said Clarke.

“We had an unusually mild flu season last year because we were hunkered down and staying safe at home, but experts don’t think that will be the case this year with a return to in-person learning, our workplaces and our social activities. They really expect to see a surge from the flu.”

She says vaccines are especially vital for older adults, who can get help navigating different vaccines with help from the Alliance.

Clarke said that as we age, symptoms from the flu can become more severe, further highlighting the importance of vaccines for older members of the public.

She said that early advice during the beginning months of the coronavirus pandemic urged the public to stagger receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine.

However, she said that advice has since been updated to say that both shots can be safely received at the same time.

For those who historically feel intense side effects of shots, she said staggering the two doses may still be a good idea to avoid being overwhelmed with side effects.

More vaccine resources and information, including a film on influenza and tips on avoiding misinformation, can be found on the Alliance’s website.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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