SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As the summer season nears its end, we’re now seeing more and more reminders of the flu season to come.
Health experts are warning that this flu season in particular is unprecedented due to the threat of COVID-19. They say your best protection is to get the flu shot.
“We know that when the lungs get damaged they actually create more of the receptors that will let COVID in. So you want to protect yourself against the flu to protect your lungs from being damaged and set up for the COVID disease,” Dr. John O’Reilly, a pediatrician at Baystate Children’s Hospital explained.
According to the CDC, it is recommended that people ages six months and older be vaccinated against the flu.
The elderly and children are at high risk for serious flu complications and if you have a weakened immune system after contracting COVID-19, it could leave you at risk for getting a more severe case of the flu.
One local resident told 22News he has high risk family members living with him and thinks the vaccination is worth considering.
“I mean, it couldn’t hurt I guess,” said Stefan Bosworth of East Longmeadow. “I don’t get too sick in general, but right now it’s kind of tricky because you don’t know if it’s the flu or is it COVID?”
Last year’s flu season lasted from October to April causing nearly 62,000 deaths reported in the United States.
The flu vaccination does not prevent COVID-19, but health experts say it is the best protection and strengthens your immune system.