Licking County health officials push early flu vaccination due to COVID-19 risk

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NEWARK – There has already been a greater demand for flu vaccine in Licking County, which is a good thing, Licking County Health Department public information officer Olivia Biggs said.”We want the public to avoid the risk of battling COVID-19 and the flu at the same time,” Biggs said. “COVID-19 has been shown to affect multiple aspects of someone’s health and add stress to the body’s systems, and adding the diagnosis of the flu could make the situation even more dire. The flu vaccine reduces your risk of getting the flu by about half.””COVID-19 can also affect multiple organs,” said Kari Kennedy, Director of Community and Personal Health for the Licking County Health Department.It’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both spread this fall and winter, which means local healthcare systems could be overwhelmed treating both patients with flu and patients with COVID-19. “Getting a flu vaccine during 2020-2021 is more important than ever,” Biggs said.Licking County is now back to a red level COVID-19 alert, as are adjoining counties Franklin and Muskingum.During seasons when the flu vaccine viruses are similar to circulating flu viruses the, flu …

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