Health officials urge NJ residents to get a flu shot this year as COVID-19 pandemic continues

State health officials are calling on all New Jersey residents older than 6 months to get a flu shot this year amid growing concern that COVID-19 cases could dramatically increase at the same time as flu cases surge.

News 12 Staff

Sep 15, 2020, 2:09 AM

Updated 1,306 days ago

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State health officials are calling on all New Jersey residents older than 6 months to get a flu shot this year amid growing concern that COVID-19 cases could dramatically increase at the same time as flu cases surge.
“It would stress our systems terribly, but I do have to tell you that we’re planning for it,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
The commissioner says that the state is planning for a so-called “twin-demic” – a severe flu season and a resurgence of COVID-19. Officials say that they have a goal of having 70% of New Jersey residents vaccinated against influenza this season.
“Nationally and in New Jersey, less than half of the eligible population received the flu vaccine. This leaves many people vulnerable to the complications of the flu,” Persichilli said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that vaccinations should happen before the end of October – ahead of the typical peak of flu season from December through February. A spike in flu cases could pose an extra challenge on hospitals and medical professionals who would have to clarify if a person was sick with the flu or with COVID-19.
“Flu-like symptoms are very similar to COVID-like symptoms. And our emergency rooms do, during December or January, get really flooded with individuals with flu-like symptoms,” the commissioner said. “So, point of care testing, immediate testing, is going to be very important, primarily in physician offices and emergency rooms.”
Persichilli said that there are many locations for New Jersey residents to go get a flu show. Officials say that they hope to avoid overflowing hospitals and testing backlogs


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