TORRANCE (CBSLA) — Thinking about skipping your flu shot this year? Doctors say to think again.
“I always like to say if you’re six months of age or older and breathing, you need a flu shot,” said Dr. Robert N. Glazer, medical director of the physician network Torrance Memorial Hospital.
Glazer said getting the flu vaccine is now more important than ever to help prevent what some physicians are called a “twindemic” — the overlapping epidemics of both influenza and COVID-19.
“What we don’t know is what is the behavior going to be of the COVID-19 virus,” he said. “It’s a novel virus. We’ve never experienced it during the fall and winter seasons, so we don’t know what’s going to happen. What if there is a huge influx of flu cases along with a surge of COVID?”
There is also the possibility that some people may become infected with the flu and COVID-19 back-to-back or at the same time. Dr. Glazer said this is possible, because they are two distinct viruses.
“So techniques like distancing, masking, and staying away from crowds are equally effective for both disease entities,” he said.
“In the emergency department, patients with symptoms are isolated off and triaged into a separate examining area,” Glazer said. “In addition, there is a separate facility apart from the emergency department than can handle an influx of ill patients.”
Glazer recommends getting the flu shot early in the season, because it takes a few weeks for the body to build up antibodies.