As we head into fall, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) urges everyone 6 months and older to get an influenza vaccine. With COVID-19 still circulating at high transmission rates in our community, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu.
Both flu and COVID-19 are contagious respiratory viruses. It’s possible to get sick with both, and each virus can have dangerous complications. The good news is that you can get your flu vaccine and your COVID-19 vaccine — including boosters and additional doses if you are eligible — at the same time. Both flu and COVID-19 vaccines are widely available in our community, including at the Jefferson County Public Health clinic in Lakewood at 645 Parfet Street. In addition, many COVID-19 vaccine mobile clinics in our community will also be offering flu vaccinations for added convenience. For a full list, visit www.jeffco.us/vaccinesignup.
Last year’s flu season was one of the mildest in recent memory. While there’s no way of knowing yet what flu season will look like in the U.S., experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predict that more relaxed COVID-19 mitigation measures, such as fewer people consistently masking and more activity out of the home, may result in an increase of flu activity. Data from the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) has shown an increase in transmission of several respiratory viruses, including RSV, outside of their usual seasonal pattern, which is likely due to the changes in masking, distancing and other prevention measures.
“There are so many reasons to get vaccinated against the flu, even beyond the protection it offers you and your family. Getting the vaccine can help reduce the strain on our hospitals and healthcare systems, which are already burdened with COVID-19 cases,” said Kelly Conroy, Associate Director of Clinical Services at JCPH. “Plus, getting a vaccine is especially important for protecting our essential workers — the people who have kept our community afloat through the difficult last year and a half, but who have borne the risk of increased illness. The more people who are vaccinated against both flu and COVID-19, the better protected our community will be.”
In addition to getting vaccinated, it’s important for all people in our community to take additional steps to prevent both the flu and COVID-19, especially since some symptoms of COVID-19 and flu are similar.
Some people are more at risk for the flu including older adults, young children, pregnant women and people with some chronic health conditions. Older adults and people with certain medical conditions are also at higher risk of complications from COVID-19.
Find a flu vaccine near you at www.vaccinefinder.org, and visit www.jeffco.us/vaccinesignup to find a COVID-19 vaccination site near you.
About Jefferson County Public Health
Public health is what we do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is a nationally accredited health department committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan for all people through prevention, education and partnerships. To learn more about JCPH visit www.jeffco.us/public-health. You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH, Instagram @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth.