Getting the influenza vaccine will be even more important for adults and children this fall because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Flu experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that “it’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes Covid-19 will both be spreading. In this context, getting a flu vaccine will be more important than ever.” That’s because hospitalizations for influenza can stress hospital capacity even without a pandemic.
But in a disturbing trend, rates of routine childhood vaccination appear to have fallen dramatically in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic. That’s understandable: Americans have been asked to stay home and not go to their doctors’ offices unless it was absolutely necessary, though at the same time the CDC, physician groups, and medical practices urged parents to bring in their children to be vaccinated, something that can be done safely during the pandemic.