Experts urging people to get flu shot this season to avoid ‘twindemic’


MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — The coronavirus pandemic has made it more important than ever to get your flu shot this year. At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic has changed some things about how you will get your flu shot this year.

At the Middletown Senior Center, the annual flu shot clinic moved from inside the building to the parking lot this year. It also involves social distancing and wiping down chairs between shots.

The city also publicized it a lot more, and Lincoln Everest listened.

RELATED: Medical providers want to avoid ‘twindemic’ as flu season begins alongside potential second wave of COVID-19

“First of all, I am at risk of the COVID,” Everest said. “I don’t want to get anything as winter is coming, and that’s going to have an impact on me going to the hospital.”

Keeping folks out of the hospital is exactly what public health experts want, too. That is why they are pushing the flu shots.

“We don’t want people ending up in the hospital with flu-like symptoms, and then they’re trying to figure out, do you have COVID or do you have flu?” explained Dave Milak, a pharmacist with Stop & Shop who was administering flu shots.

“It’s bad enough in a regular flu season sometimes where we can get the hospitals and the Emergency rooms filled with people that have flu,” said health educator Lou Carta, who helped organize the flu clinic. “Now with Covid, especially if a second wave comes back, it could be really, really bad.”

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Some call that possibility a “twindemic” – flu and COVID both ramping up this winter. The message here is that there is already a vaccine for one of those things.

“We’re going through a tough time as it is. Let’s do things we can do to prevent any more illness, so I can’t stress this enough – get your flu shot this year.”

Some evidence shows getting the flu may increase your chances of getting COVID-19. Almost all insurance plans do not require a co-pay, so the shot does not cost you anything. It was enough evidence for Lincoln Everest, who does not usually get a flu shot.

“But this year, I feel that, at my age, I don’t want to be taking that chance,” Everest said.

Middletown is teaming up with some surrounding towns like Middlefield, Durham, and Cromwell to put on a series of flu shot clinics, listed below:

  • Sept. 30 — Noon – 6 p.m. Town Hall Gymnasium, 41 West Street, Cromwell
  • Oct. 7 — 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. City Hall Council Chamber, 245 deKoven Drive Middletown
  • Oct.14 — Noon – 6 p.m. Town Hall Gymnasium, 41 West Street, Cromwell
  • Oct. 16 — 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. MARC, 25 Industrial Park Road, Middletown
  • Oct. 21 — 9 a.m. – Noon Community Center, 405 Main Street, Middlefield
  • Oct. 28 — Noon – 6 p.m. Town Hall Gymnasium, 41 West Street, Cromwell
  • Nov. 3 — Noon – 6 p.m. Activity Center, (2nd floor), 350 Main Street, Durham
  • Nov. 7 –9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Town Hall Gymnasium, 41 West Street, Cromwell
  • Nov. 10 — 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Cross Street AME Zion Church, 440 West Street, Middletown

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