SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Health experts say this flu season could be pretty bad. The combination of COVID-19 and the flu may be too much for hospitals to handle this winter.
Health officials are urging people to get their flu shots now, in an attempt to prevent further strain on hospitals already overwhelmed by COVID-19 and other viruses. The push to get flu shots as soon as possible comes as two studies warn that this flu season could be one of the worst.
There are several factors that could make this winter tough. Children are back in school, many in communities that have eased up on mask mandates and social distancing measures. And since flu was minimal to nonexistent last year, people were not exposed to the virus, potentially undermining the protection they’d normally have.
Health experts are finding that 75 percent of Americans would need to get the flu shot to avoid the additional hospitalizations. In general, just about half of the U.S. population gets the flu vaccination every year. On top of the flu shot, the FDA still recommends hose who have not received the COVID vaccine, to get that too.