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Get vaccinated against the flu while waiting for the COVID-19 vaccine!

As COVID-19 surges across the United States and staff and individuals in correctional facilities are especially vulnerable due to the congregate setting and pre-existing health issues, we must do everything we can to preserve our limited health care resources for the winter. Influenza regularly results in millions of health care visits, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and tens of thousands of deaths each year.

Since influenza and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, patients with respiratory symptoms will need both influenza and COVID-19 testing and this will further stress our testing infrastructure. More hospitalizations will divert health care personnel and resources from the already unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases. Finally, influenza and COVID-19 coinfection is possible and early data suggests worsen health outcomes with coinfection.

We need to do everything we can to minimize the severity of this upcoming flu season by vaccinating as many eligible patients as possible. December 6-12 is National Influenza Vaccination Week and we encourage you to ensure that all your patients are vaccinated against influenza. It’s not too late to protect your facility against an overlapping outbreak of influenza and COVID-19.

For more information on National Influenza Vaccination Week and resources for patients, providers, and healthcare administrators, visit: www.cdc.gov/flu/resource-center/nivw

For CDC guidance on influenza vaccination, please visit: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pandemic-guidance