As COVID-19 restrictions continue to lessen around the country, healthcare professionals agree that the signs of a worsened flu season are already evident in other parts of the world. With less exposure to flu variants over the past two years, due to stricter mask mandates, more people risk being affected by the coming flu season as a result of lessened immunity. With an estimated 35 million infections in the United States annually, it's important that communities are well equipped to combat the next several months of the flu.
Kimberly Shriner, an infectious disease expert at Huntington Hospital, an affiliate of Cedars-Sinai, recently acknowledged the benefits of getting your yearly flu shot. She states, “Vaccination often helps the individual, but it also protects those who either cannot receive a vaccine or who won’t respond very well to it.”. She goes on to cite a recent study that reviews just how impactful getting a flu shot is in mitigating the potential severity of a patient’s symptoms if they get the flu after receiving a flu vaccine, highlighting that getting a vaccine reduces the risk of ICU admission by 26% and death by 31%.
As the preferred online triage solution for healthcare organizations across the country, Clearstep's Virtual Triage sees hundreds of conversations from individuals seeking care every day. While the reasons people visit Clearstep vary, it's evident that all users would benefit from receiving their yearly flu vaccination. So, in response, we’ve enabled a flu vaccine care option that provides a patient with the option to find the closest flu vaccine site. By doing so, we hope to lessen the severity of this flu season and improve the health of the communities we serve.