The Grand Traverse County Health Department wants to bring attention to National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW). The annual observance in December encourages everyone 6 months and older to get vaccinated against the flu to be protected during the upcoming season.
Increased flu vaccination rates will reduce the spread of flu during the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent serious illness and related hospitalizations or deaths. Flu vaccination can also reduce the chance of people becoming infected with both flu and COVID-19 at the same time. Flu vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic should be of added importance because it can help reduce the overall burden of respiratory disease and save medical resources for the care of COVID-19 patients.
Vaccination is particularly important for people who are most vulnerable to developing serious flu complications, including people with certain chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease. And given the possibility that both flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) will spread this winter, this could place a tremendous burden on the healthcare system and result in many more illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths than during a regular flu season — especially among people managing chronic conditions because many of them also are at higher risk from COVID-19.
“Someone could contract both COVID and influenza at the same time, and it would be a tragic combination,” said Grand Traverse County Medical Director, Michael Collins. “So now, more than ever, people should get their flu shot, continue to mask, stay home or keep distant from others, and wash hands.”
For flu vaccinations and other immunization services, the Grand Traverse County Health Department Immunization Clinic located at 2600 LaFranier Road Traverse City, MI 49686 is open Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, please call 231-995-6131. The Grand Traverse County Health Department bills all insurances, participates in the Vaccines for Children (VCF) program and will not turn away anyone for inability to pay.