COVID-19 and the flu at the same time? State prepares aggressive vaccination campaign for the fall

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FILE – This Jan. 23, 2020 file photo shows a patient receiving a flu vaccination in Mesquite, Texas. On Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the vaccine has been more than 50% effective in preventing flu illness severe enough to send a child to the doctor’s office. Health experts consider that pretty good. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — While a vaccine for COVID-19 might not be available until the end of the year or even 2021, state officials are already thinking about what Louisiana’s healthcare system could look like if coronavirus spikes at the same time as the flu virus.

During today’s press conference at the State Capitol, officials talked about a concerted effort to get Louisianans to update their vaccinations. Dr. Gary Wiltz of the Teche Action Clinic said the state will be “aggressively promoting” vaccination updates this fall in anticipation of a second wave of COVID-19 — specifically shots for pneumonia and the flu.

Gov. John Bel Edwards said Louisiana residents should definitely think about getting a flu shot this fall in an attempt to keep Louisiana’s healthcare system from being overwhelmed. COVID-19 and the flu would “put demand on the same part of the [healthcare] system,” he said.

Edwards confirmed there would be an “extensive campaign” to get Louisianans vaccinated this year.

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