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New Yorkers Urged To Get Flu Vaccine As Experts Warn of “Twindemic” With COVID-19 Still Very Prevalent

Flu vaccines are safe, quick, and available at no out-of-pocket cost to patients who are vaccinated at one of the NYC Health + Hospitals locations

New Yorkers can call 888-NYC-4NYC to schedule an appointment or go here for walk in hours at various NYC Health + Hospital facilities

Oct 25, 2022

NYC Health + Hospitals is urging all New Yorkers to get vaccinated against the flu as health experts warn about a possible “twindemic” this fall and winter season with COVID-19 still circulating. The flu is a serious, highly contagious, and sometimes deadly disease, and the severity of each season is unpredictable, making annual vaccination the best defense against illness. The state Health Department has already categorized flu activity across the state as “widespread.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone over the age of six months get vaccinated against influenza, especially people at higher risk. Studies show the flu vaccine reduces the risk of illness by between 40 and 60 percent among the overall population. Flu vaccines are available at NYC Health + Hospital sites across the five boroughs at no cost. New Yorkers can call 888-NYC-4NYC to schedule an appointment or go here for walk in hours.

“We have seen that this year’s flu season in the Southern Hemisphere, which immediately precedes the flu season in the Northern Hemisphere and thus serves as a barometer for our flu season, arrived earlier and was more robust this year,” said Machelle Allen, MD, Chief Medical Officer for NYC Health + Hospitals. “This coupled with reduced mask wearing means that our flu season could be more serious this year, which is why it is more important than ever to get the flu shot.”

“This fall and winter we’ll have co-circulation of flu and COVID-19 – and co-infection is possible, which can lead to serious symptoms and hospitalizations. The best defense against both viruses is to get vaccinated,” said Syra Madad, DHSc, MSc, MCP, Senior Director, System-wide Special Pathogens Program at NYC Health + Hospitals. “You can get both vaccinations at the same time. Common side effect some may experience can include temporary discomfort at the injection site on their upper arm.”

Why is it so important to get a flu vaccine this year?

  • The flu vaccine has been updated since last year.
  • It is possible to become sick with both the flu and COVID-19. Flu vaccines will not prevent COVID-19, but they will reduce your risk from seasonal flu infection and its potentially serious complications. 
  • Flu vaccines prevent millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor visits each year. During 2019-2020, flu vaccination prevented an estimated 7.5 million influenza illnesses, 3.7 million influenza-associated medical visits, 105,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations and 6,300 influenza-associated deaths.
  • Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalizations.
  • Flu vaccination during pregnancy helps protect pregnant people from flu during and after pregnancy and helps protect their infants from flu in their first few months of life.
  • Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.

New Yorkers can call 844-NYC-4NYC to schedule their flu shot at a nearby NYC Health + Hospitals facility. Check here for a list of walk in appointments available. Read the health system’s facts on fighting the flu.

Contact: 212-788-3339; PressOffice@nychhc.org

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthandHospitals or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.