COVID-19 puts Emphasis on Importance of Flu Shots

COVID-19 puts Emphasis on Importance of Flu Shots

"The convergence of COVID-19 and flu season means that flu vaccinations are critical", Walgreens Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kevin Ban said in a statement.

Daily shots will be offered at 9,100 of its pharmacies, which will have additional safety measures in place to protect customers from COVID-19.

Amid the pandemic, flu vaccines will be "more important than ever" to reduce the burden on healthcare systems, Elaine O'Hara, Sanofi's head of vaccines in North America, told reporters on a conference call Monday.

"We can likely expect to see more of these adaptive vaccination solutions in September as people seek out flu vaccination", a spokesman said.

Pharmacy chain CVS, which administers flu vaccines without prescription, is planning to double the order of the doses. With shipments this season, GSK will cross the 1 billion doses manufactured globally milestone during the company's history.

Walgreens says they have enhanced cleaning regimens, social distancing protocols, and there are plexiglass shields at registers.

The FDA has given emergency authorization for a test that will check for A and B type seasonal flu viruses and COVID-19 at the same time, the CDC says.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine every season. With the Sars-CoV-2 and influenza viruses spreading at the same time, the country faces the prospect of "the worst fall, from a public health perspective, we've ever had", Redfield told WebMD. The CDC has urged individuals to maintain or reinitiate routine immunization across the lifespan to prevent illnesses that could lead to unnecessary medical visits, hospitalization and further strain on the healthcare system.

Walgreens said Monday flu shots are now available at its US locations and CVS Health said it plans to double up supplies.

The flu shot has poses a small risk of side effects that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said are typically mild.

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