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South Coast Public Health Officials Say COVID-19 Not Only Big Issue: Flu Season Has Arrived


Cynthia Thompson of Ventura was one of the first to get a shot of the vaccine when it became available in Ventura County.  But, this isn’t what you thing.  Yes, Thompson says she’s ready to get COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it’s available.  She’s in the high risk group for the virus.  But, what she’s talking about is getting a flu shot.

We’re in flu season, but the pandemic has pushed influenza into the background for attention this year.  So far, the season appears to be a mild one.

Dr. Todd Flosi is the Chief Medical Officer at Ventura County Health Care Agency.  He says even though the flue season is at least starting off mild, getting a flu shot is more critical that usual this year.  He says early research shows getting flu and COVID-19 can be devastating.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that last season, the flu made 50 million people since in America, sent 700,000 people to hospitals, and caused more than 60,000 deaths.  COVID-19 had been even deadlier, with more than 285,000 deaths so far in the United States.

Health officials are worried that the flu could add to already strained hospitals.  In Ventura County, there is extra emphasis this year in getting people vaccinated:

And, in an interesting twist, efforts to contain COVID-19 through masks, social distancing and hand washing may actually be helping to keep flu in check this year. 

Cynthia Thompson says she’s glad she has her shot, and urges everyone to get theirs.  And, the Ventura woman says when that other vaccine becomes available, the COVID-19 vaccine, she’s ready.

Link to Ventura County Flu shot clinics :

Regional Flu shot finder:

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.