AMA urges vaccinations as flu season clashes with COVID-19 pandemic

Oct. 5, 2020

With flu season approaching, the American Medical Association (AMA) is urging everyone six months and older to get vaccinated against the flu, according to a press release. The AMA asserts that during the 2020-2021 flu season, getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever to protect individuals and communities from becoming infected with the flu. The flu vaccination is part of a comprehensive public health strategy to reduce the burden of flu in the population and to preserve scarce healthcare resources.

AMA President Susan R. Bailey, MD, said “Routine vaccination is essential preventive care for children, adolescents, and adults—including pregnant women— that should not be delayed because of the pandemic. The location or office might look different, but the need for the flu vaccine is as great as ever.”

It is important for patients to keep in mind that ongoing COVID-19 activity may affect when, where, and how flu vaccines are given. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed guidance to help physicians administer vaccinations during the pandemic to ensure patient safety. For patients going to their physician, they will find offices reorganized to protect patients from COVID-19.

The pandemic has prompted physicians to modify how they operate safely while continuing to provide patients with essential services. There may be fewer appointments available as offices are disinfecting between patients and making sure patients are not intermingling.

Flu activity increases in October and most often peaks between December and February—and can last as late as May. While fall is the ideal time to get the flu vaccine, it is never too late to get vaccinated.

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