Pharmacies need to be prepared for the upcoming flu season and make sure they have enough staff to handle the increased demand for flu vaccinations that is expected this year.
A Reuters poll conducted in May showed that 60 percent of all adults plan to get a flu shot this year. In a typical year, only about 40 percent get flu shots. The demand for shots in August 2020 is already similar to October 2019, which is the peak demand month for shots. It is 15 times greater than August 2019.
The U. S. Center for Disease Control recommends flu shots for everyone over six months of age.
This flu season will be unique because people are concerned about getting medications that may be in shorter supply because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to some healthcare providers.
More Important This Year
It appears that people are heeding the advice of healthcare experts who have noted that it is more important than ever to get the flu vaccine this year because both the flu and COVID-19 viruses will be active in the fall. If someone gets the flu, it will weaken their immune system and put the person at greater risk of also getting COVID-19. Conversely, healthcare experts say there is a greater risk of getting the flu this year because of COVID-19, which could lead to complications like the flu.
According to CDC officials, the flu and COVID-19 together could lead to greater illness and deaths in the fall and winter of 2020 than the initial coronavirus outbreak did.
Getting people vaccinated for the flu will be crucial in keeping people out of the hospital so that medical facilities aren’t inundated with both flu and COVID-19 patients in numbers the facilities will have difficulty handling.
During the 2019-20 flu season, 740,000 people were admitted to the hospital for flu, and 62,000 people died from the illness and its complications, such as pneumonia. Up until May 2020, fatalities have declined, but are still at high levels, mostly because of COVID-19 complications.
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