MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - One in three parents in the U.S. plan to skip flu shots for their kids this year.
That’s according to a recently released University of Michigan national poll this morning. The most common reasons for not include concerns over side effects or the belief the shot is not necessary. In addition, other parents said they want to avoid health care offices due to the risk of Covid-19 exposure.
These spikes worry health officials for a double whammy flu season, as COVID-19 and influenza share similar symptoms.
“Symptoms of COVID and symptoms of Influenza are very similar including a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, stuffy nose, headaches, difficult breathing, fatigue. So it’s really tricky to know what is COVID or what is influenza. So when a person gets influenza, it does decrease their immune symptoms and increases their risk of developing other infections including COVID,” said Mankato Clinic Nurse Practitioner Nicole Fischbach.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that last year’s flu season resulted in about 490,000 hospitalizations and 34,200 deaths nationwide, which includes 188 children deaths.
Health officials say there may be a peak of the flu and COVID-19 at the same time which could in turn overwhelm the health care system.
“Our goal is to try to save those health care resources for those that are really sick with COVID that need our help. So by getting the flu vaccine, that can also help save those health care resources,” said Fischbach.
Locally there are various options to receive flu shots in a socially distant manner. Including at both HyVee locations in Mankato.
“We are doing that right outside, so you just drive up right in your car. Kind of a contact-less way of doing flu shots. We do ask you bring your insurance card with you and we will come car side, do your shot and get you on your way," said HyVee Pharmacy Manager, Brian Cornelius
HyVee drive up flu shot clinics are offered
- Monday: 7 a.m. - 11 a.m.
- Thursday: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
- Saturday: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
More information can be found here.