Dr Leslie Kantor on Communicating Importance of Receiving Both Flu, COVID-19 Vaccines

Leslie Kantor, PhD, MPH, chair and professor of the Department of Urban-Global Public Health, Rutgers School of Public Health, discusses the key messages that people need to hear about the continued importance of the flu vaccine, even if they have been immunized for COVID-19.

Leslie Kantor, PhD, MPH, chair and professor of the Department of Urban-Global Public Health, Rutgers School of Public Health, discusses the key messages that people need to hear about the continued importance of the flu vaccine, even if they have been immunized for COVID-19.

Transcript

What messaging should exist to ensure that people who have already gotten their COVID-19 vaccine, and possibly even their booster, also get their flu vaccine this year?

We want to remind everybody, there's still a flu vaccine. You may have been very focused on getting your COVID vaccine, and perhaps you're even eligible at this point for a booster, but don't forget the flu. It is also a very serious respiratory illness, and in fact, it can be deadly, particularly in older adults, in young children, in people who are immune compromised, and people who have other underlying conditions. I think we need to really remind people that we actually know so much more than we used to about how to prevent respiratory viruses. We can mask, we can distance, we can wash our hands, we shouldn't stop doing those things. A key piece of information we need to remind people about is that for the flu, people are most infectious to others the day before they have any symptoms. So the problem is that we don't know who around us might have the flu. So the best way to not get the flu is to get vaccinated and then consider that anybody around you might actually have infectious flu.