BOISE, Idaho — Idahoans are becoming frustrated with the uncertainty of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, according to Idaho health officials. As flu season approaches, experts are seeing an increased demand in the need for flu shots.
More than 10,000 people have received a flu vaccination at Primary Health since August, 50% more than the past several years.
“I do believe that, which is wonderful, that the increased demand is because the community is aware of the problems related to coronavirus,” CEO of Primary Health Medical Group Dr. David Peterman said.
This year, it is more important than ever to not ignore a fever or a cough. While a flu shot cannot protect anyone from contracting COVID-19, health officials believe it can decrease the odds of becoming infected with the flu and COVID-19 simultaneously.
One of the many reasons experts are urging people to get the flu vaccine is because the impact on a person who may catch COVID-19 and the flu at the same time is not yet known.
“While [the flu shot] will not guarantee that you will not get influenza, it reduces the likelihood of getting influenza and, I would say even more importantly, it reduces the likelihood of being severely ill, hospitalized or even dying from influenza,” St. Luke's Medical Director Dr. Laura McGeorge said.
As the colder seasons approach and people start to head indoors, the time to get an influenza vaccine is now. Anyone over the age of six months is encouraged to get a flu shot.
Although the demand is high, Peterman said Primary Health has an ample supply of the vaccine and doesn’t foresee a shortage.
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