The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is urging Michigan residents to get vaccinated. Although the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t available yet, Michiganders are being reminded not to forget about the flu. According to a release from MDHHS, COVID-19 and the flu are likely to spread simultaneously this winder and all Michiganders ages 6 months and older should get their annual flu vaccine if they haven’t already.

According to Dr. Joneigh Kaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS, nearly 3 million Michigan residents have received the flu vaccine already this year. Joneigh states that “it’s great progress, but there’s still more work to be done. We need to prevent a surge of flu cases while we are in the middle of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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The state is more than 66 percent towards its goal of 4.2 million flu vaccinations this season. During last year’s flu season, 18 to 26 million medical visits were attributed to the flu and nearly half a million hospitalizations took place. Michigan ranks at 38th in the nation for flu vaccination coverage and falls below the national average of 51.8 percent.

This week marks the National Influence Vaccination Week. Although the flu is often compared to the common cold, it’s a very serious and potentially deadly disease, especially for children, older people and those with chronic health conditions. Last season, 195 children died from the flu in the United States, including six children in Michigan.

 

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