Flu season likely this year with lingering pandemic

Vaccines are safe and effective to prevent against flu, COVID viruses

Woman sneezes into tissue

Ready or not, flu season is coming and it’s time to get your flu shot.

The influenza season typically starts in the fall and winter months and peaks between December and February, according to the CDC.

Chief Physician Jeremy Cauwels, M.D., joined Sanford Health News for a Facebook Live Q&A and looks ahead to the upcoming season.

What we’re expecting

“I very much expect that we are going to see a flu season this year,” Dr. Cauwels told Sanford Health News.

“All of the things that we did last year really eliminated the flu season, like wearing masks, keeping kids home from school, adults not going to work or staying home from work when they felt even the least bit ill, are all great things to mitigate a flu season.”

Find a flu shot: Protecting you and your family from the flu

The bigger concern this year is that flu season will peak during whatever comes after the COVID-19 delta variant.

“So we could see both (flu and COVID) happening at the same time,” he said. “As we talk about tired health care workers, what they don’t want to see is a high number of flu patients come in right after we get done with a high number of COVID-positive patients.”

Avoiding flu and COVID

Of any other year, he says this is a year when the flu shot becomes extra important “as you’re looking at how to keep yourself out of the hospital, how to keep your family safe, and how to help health care workers that are in your communities.”

Sanford Health is offering flu and COVID-19 vaccinations at the same appointments this year.

Make an appointment: Schedule your COVID-19 vaccine

Here are some of his recommendations to keep you and your family safe:

  • Vaccination is extremely effective
  • Face masks work
  • Social and physical distancing helps
  • Use good hand hygiene
  • Stay home when you’re not well
  • Keep a healthy diet and exercise

Learn more

Posted In Coronavirus, Expert Q&A, Flu, Immunizations