AUGUST 28, 2020
COVID-19 BRINGS NEW REASON TO GET YOUR FLU SHOT
AN UPDATE FROM HATTIESBURG CLINIC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TOMMY G. THORNTON, FACMPE
With COVID-19 still looming, health systems must begin to prepare for the likelihood of co-epidemics of COVID-19 and seasonal influenza (flu).
The combination of COVID-19 and flu is unprecedented, so the interaction between the two viruses is still relatively unknown. However, we do know that coinfection is possible, and there are concerns about the risk of increased severity of flu coupled with COVID-19.
The presence of COVID-19 this year makes it more important than ever for everyone to get vaccinated against the flu virus. Though the flu vaccine will not prevent COVID-19, it can reduce the risk of flu illnesses and hospitalizations that could overburden our health care systems, which are already strained due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccinating oneself against the flu this fall will not only reduce the risk of catching the flu, but it will also help preserve much-needed health care resources.
Influenza represents the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During the 2019-20 flu season, the CDC reported between 39 million and 56 million people suffered flu illnesses, and there were up to 740,000 hospitalizations. In addition, the CDC estimated that the vaccine prevented approximately 4.4 million influenza cases, 58,000 hospitalizations, and 3500 deaths.
Hattiesburg Clinic is offering flu vaccinations Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., near the Laboratory department on the first floor of our main clinic building, located at 415 South 28th Avenue in Hattiesburg.
Flu vaccinations are also being offered at other Hattiesburg Clinic primary care and immediate care clinics throughout 18 counties in South Mississippi. Please contact your local primary care provider or immediate care as hours may vary. Prior to your visit, we ask that you check with your insurance provider to determine any cost-sharing responsibilities.
To learn more about the flu and how to prevent it, visit www.hattiesburgclinic.com/flu or talk to your primary care provider. For questions about the walk-in flu vaccination clinic, call (601) 261-1620.
Thank you for entrusting Hattiesburg Clinic with your care.
Tommy G. Thornton, FACMPE
Hattiesburg Clinic, PA