Cleveland Clinic doctor discusses ‘twindemic’ worries as traditional flu season approaches

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — With the COVID-19 pandemic still spreading around the globe, health care leaders say getting the flu vaccine is taking on a new urgency this year.

“What we’re worried about is a ‘twindemic,’ where we have COVID already, global pandemic going on and adding a yearly illness like influenza,” says Dr. W. Kyle Mudd, a pediatrician with Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital.

Mudd says this year’s flu season will overlap with the coronavirus pandemic in just a matter of weeks, possibly making this your most important flu shot ever.

But as for how it is administered, you do have options: Getting the traditional flu shot or the nasal flu mist.

Anyone between the ages of 2 and 29 can get the mist. However, immuno-compromised patients or women who are pregnant cannot.

“People who are without a spleen … that puts them in a immuno-compromised category and anyone who’s ever had a severe allergic reaction with any of the ingredients in the flu mist vaccine,” Mudd says.

In a typical year, less than half of Americans get the flu vaccination, and whether you want the spray or not, the Cleveland Clinic says the most important thing is that everyone get vaccinated, especially since some of the symptoms are similar to coronavirus.

And time is of the essence.

“We really want to get the influenza immunization before October, by the end of October so, for kids, I always say, flu before boo,” Mudd says. “We want to get it before Halloween.”

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