TRENTON, NJ — N.J. Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli warned of a possible “twin-demic” of the flu and the coronavirus this year, 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 during Gov. Phil Murphy's September 14 press briefing. “A severe flu season and a resurgence of COVID-19 could constrain health care 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 who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies, young children, older people and people with certain chronic health conditions," Persichilli said, but warning that the flu shot does not provide protection from COVID-19.

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September and October are the best times to get vaccinated, and it takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to become effective, she said.

“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.

In New Jersey, less than one-half of the eligible population gets the flu shot, leaving many people vulnerable to the complications of the flu, she said.

The vaccine typically is available at doctors' offices, local health departments, federally funded health centers and local pharmacies. For more information, visit

READ MORE: Seasonal Flu vs. COVID-19: What's the Difference? Will a Flu Shot Help?

Latest COVID-19 Numbers

Gov. Phil Murphy reported 420 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in New Jersey  (216 positive cases and 204 “persons under investigation” pending the return of test results). Of these patients, 91 are in intensive care, while 41 are on ventilators.

Below is the video of Gov. Phil Murphy's September 14 press briefing:



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