About Mercy

News Archive

Media Contact: 
Aaron Scheinblum, Communication Strategist
319-358-2627 or e-mail: aaron.scheinblum@mercyic.org

Thursday, October 1, 2020 - Mercy Iowa City providers stress importance of flu vaccine amid COVID-19 pandemic

Leaders with Mercy Iowa City say the importance of getting your flu shot is at an all-time high and it is even more pivotal as the COVID-19 pandemic continues statewide.

The White House coronavirus task force has warned Iowa is “in a vulnerable position going into the fall and winter” due to high positivity rates in the last month. With a growing concern around COVID-19, Dr. David Kusner, Infectious Disease Specialist at Mercy Iowa City, says the focus should shift to protecting those most at-risk of contracting both coronavirus and influenza.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends the annual flu vaccine to everyone six months or older and explains the vaccine has shown strong benefits including a reduced risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and flu-related death in children. Still, millions of people get the flu annually and tens of thousands are either hospitalized or die from flu-related causes.

Doctors at Mercy Iowa City say that recommendation should carry much more weight as the coronavirus spreads in eastern Iowa. “The prevention of influenza related disease is more important than ever when we have the additional burden of coronavirus in the community,” Kusner said.

The CDC recommends people receive a flu vaccine by the end of October, allowing two weeks for antibodies to develop.