Why doctors think you should get the flu shot this year — and soon
2020-09-18 from cbc.ca
As COVID-19 cases climb in many provinces, flu season is also on the horizon. Doctors say there's more interest in the flu shot this year — and there should be. But they're warning patients to get the shot sooner rather than later. Here's why.
Why is getting the flu shot more important this year?
Doctors and governments say the COVID-19 pandemic makes it more important than ever to get the flu shot because:
- Too many people with flu and flu-related complications can put pressure on the health system, which will likely already be under strain due to COVID-19.
- A high vaccination rate can reduce the demand for COVID-19 testing, since the flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms. Many testing centres have recently seen long lines and wait times due to a surge in demand.
- Getting the flu — as with other pre-existing lung diseases — can increase the risk of COVID-19 complications in people who catch that, too.
"If they have the flu, they're more likely to wind up in hospital and die from COVID-19," said Dr. Iris Gorfinkel, a family physician and vaccine researcher at Prime Health Clinical Research in Toronto.
The federal government said that this year, it's raising awareness and promoting the flu vaccine especially to populations at higher risk of flu and flu-related complications, including seniors, people with compromised immune systems and those with chronic medical conditions.
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