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Another Flu Season Approaches as COVID-19 Pandemic Rages On


Tuesday, October 5, 2021   

TACOMA, Wash. -- Flu season is around the corner, which means many people can protect themselves with a flu shot. Health professionals are advising anyone who can safely be vaccinated to get the flu shot.

Dr. Tessa Commers, a Tacoma pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente in Tacoma, stressed the extra importance of a flu shot this year, because of the strain people with the flu could put on hospitals already overloaded as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.

"Not only do we have the need for the additional services that are needed to provide care for those with flu, but then the risk of catching flu and COVID at the same time is potentially even more serious and harmful to the body," Commers explained.

People can speak to their doctor or pharmacist to learn more about flu vaccinations.

While many parents are waiting for approval of COVID-19 vaccines for kids under age 12, Commers said flu shots are available for children as young as six months.

"Protection against flu will at least provide one level of protection for those young folks who are otherwise not able to get the COVID vaccine quite yet," Commers advised. "So, any level of protection is good protection for us."

Commers added the flu shot is safe for people who have had a COVID vaccine, noting there are no studies to suggest any interaction between the two.

"They are safe to get actually on the same day, at the same time," Commers pointed out. "They would not interfere with the efficacy of the other, and they would not have any sort of detrimental effects on the body if you got them at the same time."

COVID cases have been spiking since the summer in Washington state, although
nearly 70% of the state's population above age 12 is fully vaccinated, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

Disclosure: Kaiser Health Plan of Washington Project contributes to our fund for reporting on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Health Issues, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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