Public health advocates have been warning since year 1 of the pandemic that a simultaneous wave of influenza and COVID-19 could have devastating consequences to the U.S. population, healthcare system, and economy. To date, we’ve collectively managed to dodge that bullet. As we approach flu season this year, though, some experts are wondering out loud whether our luck might have run out. That concern is bolstered by the fact that Australia “had a very bad flu season,” as epidemiologist and biostatistician Katelyn Jetelina, MA, PhD was quoted as saying by Yahoo News. It’s widely held that countries in the Southern Hemisphere, especially Australia, are bellwethers of how the U.S. is likely to fare during our flu season. At the same time, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus as to what’s expected with COVID-19 in the coming months. While some predict cases will remain stable or even decline, others postulate that as the weather gets cooler and more people turn to indoor activities the risk of transmission will increase. The X factor—which is under our control, collectively—is how many Americans opt to get vaccinated against both viruses. As such, this would be an ideal time to assess your urgent care center’s readiness to promote and administer the 2022–2023 flu shot and to keep doing everything you can to fight COVID. If you need a refresher on prepping for flu season, try reading An Urgent Care Approach to Influenza—Before Onset in the JUCM archive.
We’ve Been Prepping for—and Fearing—a Twindemic for Years. Could Its Time Have Arrived?