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MercyOne Encourages Community to Receive Their Annual Flu Shot

Oct 08, 2021 10:20AM ● By Med Magazine

Following unusually low influenza activity in 2020, a number of health experts, including the CDC, expect flu cases to increase significantly this year. The dominance of the more easily transmitted COVID-19 Delta variant makes receiving a flu shot even more important this year.

“Everyone 6 months and older, with few exceptions, should get an annual flu vaccine,” said Dr. David Ensz, MercyOne South Sioux City Family Medicine. “We need the community’s help to keep flu hospitalizations low as we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In 2020, a record 193.8 million doses of influenza vaccine were administered nationally. By practicing increased health safety measures including masking, social distancing and good hand washing — hospital beds and resources often used by flu patients — remained available for COVID-19 patient care. 

The coming flu season will once again challenge health care. MercyOne encourages Iowans who are eligible to get their flu shot to reduce the risk of serious illness. Dr. Ensz suggests being vaccinated by the end of October, but it is never too early or late to be immunized.

Influenza and COVID-19 share several common symptoms. If a person is concerned about having either illness, a single test is available to diagnose both COVID-19 and influenza. Test results will help your primary care provider select the best course of care if either virus is detected.

The CDC says the flu shot can be given at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine. Someone with a current COVID-19 infection should wait until the end of their isolation period of 10-14 days or they are clinically cleared to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

To schedule your flu and COVID-19 vaccine, visit MercyOne.