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Influenza is about to make this coronavirus year even worse: What to know about flu shots


August 21, 2020

Flu-shot season is fast approaching - amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Chicago Tribune/TNS

(TNS) Bad as it has been these past few months to live with the danger of coronavirus, things are about to get worse. Fall is approaching and with it comes that other respiratory virus that puts thousands of Americans in the hospital every year: influenza.

Prepare for an onslaught of public service messages begging you to get a shot not only to protect yourself and your vulnerable loved ones but an entire health system already strained by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hospitals often fill up in December and January when flu season really takes off, said Susan Bailey, an allergy and immunology specialist in Fort Worth who is president of the American Medical Association. "If hospitals are already full of coronavirus patients, where are the influenza patients going to go?" she asked. The AMA encourages flu vaccines every year, but will have a larger campaign with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ad Council this year.


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