This morning, as part of the city of Charleston’s flu shot program for city employees, Mayor John Tecklenburg received his flu shot and encouraged citizens throughout the Lowcountry to do the same.
Why flu shots matter, especially this year: With the likelihood of both influenza and COVID-19 viruses spreading this year, receiving the annual flu vaccine is more important than ever to protect against co-infection and what experts are calling a “twindemic.”
Not only will receiving this year’s flu vaccine help to protect against the virus itself, but it will also help to reduce the burden on healthcare systems that continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and preserve medical resources for the care of COVID-19 patients.
- The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older receive their annual flu vaccine by the end of October, before flu season begins.
- According to DHEC and the CDC, flu vaccination is particularly important for those at increased risk of complications from the flu, including young children, adults 50 years and older, pregnant women and those with certain chronic medical conditions.
- Social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing remain critical in mitigating the risk of infection.
By the numbers:
- During the 2019-2020 flu season, the CDC estimates that the flu caused 38 million illnesses, 400,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths.
- Mayor John Tecklenburg said, “There’s no question that the best way to protect yourself against the flu is to receive your vaccination every year. This year, with both viruses out there, it’s even more critical that we receive our vaccinations and do everything we can to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our communities healthy as we head into flu season.”