Health experts advise flu shots amid coronavirus pandemic

BOSTON (WHDH) - Health experts are concerned with a potential rise in flu cases amid the coronavirus pandemic and are advising people to get vaccinated.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is asking all children six months or older to get their flu shots as the fall season begins, which is already required in the state of Massachusetts.

Early action could prevent patients from potentially contracting both the flu and COVID-19.

“The concern at this point is that having two infections in the same person could cause potentially significant injury to their lungs,” Flor Munoz, a pediatric infectious disease specialist, said.

The flu season typically begins around the end of October, but infections disease expert Joshua Barocas of Boston Medical Center said people shouldn’t wait to get vaccinated.

“The vaccine can take about two weeks for an immune response, an antibody response to occur. So that’s why we like to have it done a little bit earlier,” Barocas said.

“It’s possible that influenza is going to make covid symptoms worse and vice versa, so they are likely to play off of each other a lot more,” he said.

The town of Hull is encouraging its residents to get vaccinated early with a drive-up flu clinic this week, which proved to be a success. Another clinic is scheduled for next week due to popular demand.

“We’ve had just positive response back, how quick and safe people felt coming through that way,” a town administrator said. “They didn’t have to get out of their cars, some people brought children. It was really a success.”

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