From One Pandemic to Another: The Importance of Flu and COVID-19 Vaccination
Posted on November 2, 2021
Share this article:
During the last pandemic, Henry Lin, MD, lost his child Trevor to H1N1 influenza on November 2, 2009. He died more than 10 years before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.
In October 2009, Dr. Lin could not get Trevor or his siblings vaccinated against H1N1 influenza because the vaccine was not yet available to families in his community. Now, as many of us fortunate survivors live through another year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the second seasonal flu season during the pandemic, he urges both flu and COVID-19 vaccination. Flu vaccination is especially important as there is already a significant rate increase of flu this season.
Data show that patients are most likely to trust their healthcare provider’s recommendations to get vaccinated. In the US, most healthcare providers are indeed vaccinated against flu and COVID-19. For example, 96% of doctors are vaccinated against COVID-19 and 98% got the flu vaccine during the 2019-2020 season. For nurses, over 88% are vaccinated against COVID-19 and 92% of nurses were vaccinated against flu.
But 12 years later, even when both flu & COVID vaccines are readily available, Americans overall are still not getting vaccinated at very high rates. During the past flu season, 52.1% of all people eligible in the U.S. got a flu vaccine. For COVID-19, only 58% of all people eligible in the U.S. have received their full dose.
“The current COVID pandemic may have had a different outcome if we had really taken to heart the recurrent lessons of pandemics, such as the more recent one of the swine flu from the 2008-09 season,” says Dr. Lin. “Coronavirus and influenza are similar in their ability to evolve. Like all viruses, they mutate to survive. The more frequently these viruses mutate, the harder it is to reach herd immunity with a single formulation in a vaccine. That’s why earlier mass vaccinations might have achieved herd immunity, potentially preventing highly infectious variants like Delta from developing.”
Trevor would have turned 19 on October 18 had the swine flu vaccine been available earlier in the season where he lived. Please seriously consider both your annual flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine to protect you and your family. New data supports safety in the co-administration of both vaccines on the same day.
You might also be interested in...
Take Flu Symptoms Seriously In Memory of Julianna
5 Ways To Support Grieving Families During The Holidays
Science Doesn’t Lie: A Bereaved Parent’s Perspective on Flu & COVID-19 Vaccines
You are required to accept all of the terms and conditions in this License Agreement in order to receive a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, royalty-free license to use the FAMILIES FIGHTING FLU, INC. logo, displayed below (the “FFF Logo”), from Families Fighting Flu, Inc. (“FFF”). In order to accept these terms and conditions, you must click the “I Accept” button below.
FFF hereby grants to you, and you accept, a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, royalty-free license to use the FFF Logo, which you may download and use solely in online and print earned media publications for a period of no more than six (6) months in the United States.
You acknowledge that the FFF Logo is a valid trademark; that FFF is the sole owner of the FFF Logo; and that FFF retains all right, title, and interest in and to the FFF Logo. You agree that any and all use that you make of the FFF Logo, and any and all goodwill arising from your use of the FFF Logo, shall inure exclusively to the benefit of FFF. You also agree that you shall not challenge the validity of the FFF Logo or FFF’s ownership or title thereto during the term of the License Agreement or thereafter.
You agree that you shall use the FFF Logo only in the form shown above, and that you shall not alter, modify, change, or edit the FFF Logo in any manner.
You acknowledge the valuable goodwill and reputation in the FFF Logo, and that it is essential that the high standards and reputation associated with the FFF Logo be maintained. You therefore agree to use the FFF Logo consistent with the highest standards of quality so as to protect and maintain the FFF Logo and FFF’s rights therein.
FFF shall have the right to review and inspect your use of the FFF Logo at any time. FFF, in its sole discretion, may determine that you are not using the FFF Logo in an acceptable manner and require that you discontinue your use of the FFF Logo. To the extent that FFF requires that you discontinue your use of the FFF Logo, you agree that you shall remove the FFF Logo from all online and print earned media publications as soon as practicable under the circumstances, and that you shall not use the FFF at any time in the future.
You must include the following notice in connection with any use of the FFF Logo: “The Families Fighting Flu, Inc. logo is the registered trademark of Families Fighting Flu, Inc.”