TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli has warned of a possible “twin-demic” this year during flu season 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 the governor's COVID-19 press briefing on Monday. “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."

Persichilli also said that getting a yearly flu vaccine "helps protect you and those around you from getting the flu," but warned that the flu shot will not protect anyone from contracting COVID-19. She noted that it takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to become effective.

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“That’s why it’s best to get vaccinated before influenza viruses start to spread in your community," said Persichilli. "However, residents can be vaccinated any time after the flu virus begins circulating, even after January."

The health commissioner reported that the target for flu vaccination is 70 percent, 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," she said. "What we don’t want to see is a really bad flu season and a resurgence of COVID,”

She also urged New Jersey residents to visit NJ.gov/health for further information. 

The full press briefing from Monday, which includes the lastest COVID-19 data, can be seen below.