The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association estimates that at least 39 million Americans became ill during last year's flu season, leading to 18 million medical visits, 410,000 hospitalizations and at least 24,000 deaths.
Doctors say it is critical people get their flu shot this year during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns with more than 200,000 COVID-19 related deaths already in the United States, another respiratory illness could increase the chances of residents catching both diseases at once.
In addition, flu symptoms are similar to those of COVID-19. Both viruses are more severe for the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions. Getting a flu shot to prevent the flu allows healthcare professionals to better manage the COVID-19 pandemic, save thousands of lives and preserve health care resources.
Get a flu shot today by visiting a primary care provider's office. Area drugstores and pharmacies also offer flu shots, generally covered by insurance. For more information, please visit the vaccine finder website, the Sentara website or the Novant Health website.