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Influenza and COVID-19: The Twindemic

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Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB. Has 30 years experience.

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As public health officials look to fall and Winter, the specter of a new surge of Covid-19 gives them chills. But there is a scenario they dread even more: a severe flu season, resulting in a “twindemic.”

But now, fighting flu proactively during the continuing pandemic presents significant challenges: not only how to administer the shot safely and readily, but also how to prompt people to get a shot that a majority of Americans have typically distrusted, dismissed and skipped.

Fearing a 'Twindemic,' Health Experts Push Urgently for Flu Shots

Are you getting the Flu shot this year?

Do you think the COVID-19 Pandemic will heighten during the Flu season?

Yes, always do get the flu shot.

It's hard to say how covid + flu season scenario will play out. Although there are a lot of people not wearing masks, this is the first flu season where a lot of people are wearing masks; essentially the first flu season where anyone is wearing a mask. No way of knowing ahead of time but we might be surprised what effect this has on things overall. Plenty of people are being more cautious about their activities than they were last year, too, and there have been a lot of adjustments to other public activities and in general more precautions being taken.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

I always get the flu shot. This year will be no different. I was surprised during a meeting last week to find out how many people are worrying about getting it early this year due to fears of both Covid and flu together.

Getting my shot (and a second in February) as soon as they are available. I agree with JKL. It will be very interesting to see what the flu rate is with even a percentage of people wearing masks. With any luck it will mitigate things otherwise we are likely to be in real trouble from a resource standpoint.

NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

Get my Flu shot yearly in Sept./Oct. as soon as available.

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 42 years experience.

15 minutes ago, NRSKarenRN said:

Get my Flu shot yearly in Sept./Oct. as soon as available.

Same here, but I can't get my husband to do it. 🙄

Tenebrae, BSN, RN

Specializes in Mental Health, Gerontology, Palliative. Has 9 years experience.

I got mine in march as soon as it was avaliable at work

I'll get it every year.

I usually get it due to work because at the time the alternative WAS wearing a mask throughout your shift. But even with the mask on I’ll get it anyways.

On 8/17/2020 at 8:02 AM, sirI said:

Fearing a 'Twindemic,' Health Experts Push Urgently for Flu Shots

Are you getting the Flu shot this year?

Do you think the COVID-19 Pandemic will heighten during the Flu season?

As in years past, I will be getting an influenza vaccine.

I've been following Australia's flu data. Due to social distancing, cases have been very low. I think the severity of the influenza season in the U.S. will depend on citizens' behavior. If we all get together with our families over Thanksgiving and Christmas, there will be trouble. If we stick to social distancing, limiting contact with others and wearing masks, we could decrease influenza cases (similar to Australia). Sadly, the United States is full of selfish citizens. Based on Summer behavior, I think this will be a horrible flu/Covid season.

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 42 years experience.

On 8/17/2020 at 3:33 PM, Kitiger said:

Same here, but I can't get my husband to do it. 🙄

I got my flu shot yesterday. It's a little early, but I didn't want to have to deal with shortages, later in the season.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

I get one every year. The last time I had the flu was in 1992 and the pneumonia and bronchitis that it spawned hung on, literally, for months. Spent the whole Winter and Spring bouncing in and out of the ER with asthma exacerbations too. I learned my lesson and haven’t missed a flu shot since.

I do wonder if flu season might be mitigated somewhat because of social distancing and mask-wearing. I’d like to think positively. But there’s always that element that whines about being deprived of their “freedom” when asked to wear a mask to protect themselves and others, so who knows how (or if) it will work.