The seasonal flu shot is starting to become available. The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends getting the flu vaccine optimally between now and the end of October. It can take a few weeks to be fully effective. This year with the dual respiratory viruses of influenza and coronavirus circulating in the population is going to be interesting. My personal view is that it will be a mild flu season this year. That is because of all the precautions already being taken for the pandemic. We’re masking, we’re washing hands, we’re physically distancing. We’re not gathering yet in parties greater than 10. (All of these are idealistic goals I hope the entire population adheres to). May I admit, I don’t always adhere to these principles myself. One can only try.
But I don’t want that to come off as I mean it is okay to be lax about the flu vaccine this year. I think it makes it all the more essential. The flu season perennially fills me with dread. Over 50,000 deaths. Numerous hospitalizations. 188 pediatric deaths last year. It stinks. Imagine mixing the diagnostic dilemma of the flu with the SARS-CoV-2 for school aged children. Does that fever and cough mean your entire pod ought to prepare for a shut down or have to get tested? Can we go back to school when the fever is gone or do we need to wait at least 10 days? Will they let us back without a negative COVID test when it was only the flu? Really?
Your best bet for yourself and your children is not to get infected in the first place. Do everything you can. Wear a mask, wash your hands, physically distance from people who’s exposure risk is unknown to you. And for Pete’s sake, get the flu shot.
See Dr. Kumar discussing flu shots on Good Day Austin here.