TRENTON, NJ -- Speaking at Governor Murphy's Monday COVID-19 press briefing, NJ Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli warned of a possible “twin-demic” this year during flu season and urged New Jerseyans to get their flu shots.
“As we enter the fall season, we are also moving into the flu season. This year we are preparing for the possibility of a twin-demic,” Persichilli said. “A severe flu season and a resurgence of COVID-19 could constrain healthcare resources. Therefore this year, more than ever, it is important that everyone six months of age or older get vaccinated against the flu.”
"Getting a yearly flu vaccine helps protect you and those around you from getting the flu," Persichilli said, but warned that the flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19.
It takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to become effective.
“That’s why it’s best to get vaccinated before influenza viruses start to spread in your community. However, residents can be vaccinated any time after the flu virus begins circulating, even after January," Persichilli said, adding that people could get more information by visiting NJ.gov/health.
Persichilli reported that the target for flu vaccination is 70%, but that nationally and in the State of New Jersey, less than half of the eligible population gets the flu shot. The vaccine typically is available at doctors' offices, local health departments and federally funded health centers, and local pharmacies.
"Get vaccinated," the health commissioner said. "What we don’t want to see is a really bad flu season and a resurgence of COVID,”
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