On Monday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky shared “good news” about this year’s annual flu shot, calling it “saving lives.”
Walensky said the vaccine appears to be effective against the circulating flu strain.
“Right now the good news is that it looks like it’s a really good game,” she told reporters.
This comes as COVID and flu cases are on the rise. Walensky called the trend “worrying” in the middle of the holiday season, when many gather indoors with little ventilation.
So far this season, there have been at least 8.7 million illnesses, 78,000 hospitalizations and 4,500 deaths from the flu, according to CDC estimates. More than 19,000 patients were hospitalized with the flu in the week ending November 26.
The best way to protect yourself against infections and serious illnesses from the flu is to get vaccinated every year, according to the CDC. The vaccine is recommended for anyone over 6 months old.
“I want to emphasize that the flu vaccine can save lives and, most importantly, there is still time to get vaccinated to be protected against the flu this season,” Walensky said.
On Monday, the United States recorded a weekly total of more than 303,100 COVID cases, 1,780 deaths and more than 4,470 hospitalizations.
Walensky recommended face masks for people in areas of high COVID transmission — along with other precautions including hand washing and staying home if unwell.
“You don’t have to wait for CDC action to put on a mask,” Walensky said.
More than 180 counties, districts or territories are currently showing a high community level of COVID-19, according to the agency.
The Huffington Gt