Health experts help residents prepare for start of influenza season

Local News

WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Flu season will be arriving soon and local health experts say it is important to be prepared.

Local health experts saw fewer flu cases but they’re urging people to be prepared for this year’s season. The CDC says it’s safe for people to receive the COVID and Flu vaccine on the same day. Knox County Health Officer Dr. Alan Stewart has this recommendation.

“I do recommend a small space in between the shots,” Dr. Alan Stewart, Knox County Health Officer said. “The advantage of this is if you do have a side affect from one of the shots you’ll know which one caused it. A three week hiatus between the two shots would give you a chance to develop an immune response.”

Experts say there are many reasons flu numbers were down last year including people getting the flu vaccine.

“I think there was an uptick of people getting the flu vaccine,” Vigo County registered nurse Twyla Spidel said. “Last year which was great but if people let their guard down and don’t get the vaccine this year, we think we could see an increase with the flu activity.”

Dr. Stewart says COVID-19 is more transmissible than the flu. Precautions taken last year to prevent COVID helped prevent the spread of the flu as well.

“Influenza hardly had a chance with everyone being masked and washing their hands and so forth,” dr. Stewart said. “Influenza is contagious but it’s not nearly as contagious as COVID. The fact that a lot of schools were not even in session made a very small, nonexistent flu season.”

Nurse Spidel says vaccines continue to be way to keep the community safe.

“It’s important to take the steps to protect us with the vaccines,” nurse Spidel said. “The vaccines are the best way to protect against COVID and flu at this point.”

The quadrivalent influenza vaccine will be available and protects against four different forms of the flu.

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