Health experts urge people to get vaccinated amid flu season

With flu cases on the rise, health experts are strongly encouraging people to get vaccinated.

During a typical season, the flu causes up to 41 million illnesses, 710,000 hospitalizations and 52,000 deaths among Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The past two flu seasons have been historically low because of COVID-19 mitigation measures such as mask wearing, social distancing and other public health interventions that reduce the spread.

“Flu is very serious and it can result in hospitalization, serious complications,” said Dr. Chastity Walker, senior advisor for health equity for the CDC. She added that the flu is more serious for those who are under 5 years old, adults 65 or older, Black, Hispanic and Native Americans.

“We recommend that everyone six months or older get a flu shot. It’s not too late to get a flu vaccine if you haven’t already have one,” Walker said.

The CDC estimates that there have been between 4.4 and 9.8 million flu illnesses, between 38,000 and 77,000 flu-related hospitalizations, and between 2,100 and 6,200 deaths from the flu this season.

An ad campaign called Get My Flu Shot, from the Ad Council, American Medical Association and the CDC, emphasizes the importance of the annual flu shot.

Holiday gatherings with friends and family are coming up, and “We want you to be healthy, safe and protected while you’re doing those things and that’s what vaccine affords you,” said Walker.

People can find out about more information on where to get a flu shot on

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.

Tadiwos Abedje

Tadi Abedje is a freelance digital writer/editor for WTOP. He was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Northern Virginia. Journalism has been his No. 1 passion since he was a kid and he is blessed to be around people, telling their stories and sharing them with the world.

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

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