With the current pandemic still raging on throughout the U.S., it may come as no surprise that there is a big push this year for more flu protection. On Tuesday, it was reported that “record numbers” of the flu vaccine are currently being planned for by manufacturers.
Currently, between the flu vaccine manufacturers, there is a planned 15% increase in flu doses being sent to the U.S. This will total about 200 million doses.
With the current pandemic continuing to spread across the U.S., resulting in an average of 56,979 new cases being diagnosed every day over the last week, the virus mixing with the upcoming flu season has been a genuine concern for many health experts.
Each flu season, up to 45 million Americans contract the flu; this number represents about 140,000 hospitalizations on average and up to 61,000 deaths. Paired with the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to 159,000 deaths in the U.S. as of today, according to the New York Times, many health experts are concerned that it could be a deadly combination this winter.
Currently, only 60% of Americans get the flu shot on average each year, which carries a range of 20-60% effectiveness each year. While the effectiveness of each year’s vaccine can be on the lower side, flu shots are also known to help reduce the severity of the virus in many cases.
In noting all of these points, many health experts are concerned that if more individuals don’t get the flu shot this year, it could potentially lead to hospitals that are overrun with those sickened with the flu and coronavirus. It’s also a concern that people may become infected with both respiratory diseases at the same time.
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