ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Health experts worried that medical centers will not be able to keep up with an influx of sick patients this winter.
That will likely be due to a post holiday surge in COVID-19 cases and less people getting their flu shot. Hospitals are already filling up with omicron patients, as well as people battling influenza.
One UW Health doctor said that getting both the COVID-19 and flu vaccine are equally important.
“Flu vaccines, even though I know a lot of people kind of forgo them and say ‘oh, the flu doesn’t really bother me that much,’ this is a really important year that we need to keep ourselves healthy, we need to protect our loved ones, especially the vulnerable ones, and we need to do whatever we can to just keep sick people out of offices, out of urgent care and out of emergency departments,” said Dr. Jim Conway, Medical Director of the Immunization Program at UW Health.
COVID-19 protocols like staying home whenever possible, washing hands and wearing a mask also kept flu cases low this time last year.