No Time for Flu Campaign

MISSOULA, Mont. - As flu season approaches, the American Medical Association and the centers for disease control and prevention are launching their campaign #NoTimefortheFlu across social media or online platforms.

Health professionals hope this message encourages more people to get vaccinated ahead of the upcoming holiday season.

Although we're seeing a low number of flu cases, those with the American Medical Association expect as many as 41 million Americans to become infected with Influenza and 710,00 people to be hospitalized this flu season.

"It's a very important issue at this time, so we have the flu combined with a thousand people dying by the year from COVID, people still being hospitalized, our system is strained when we can prevent this from occurring and becoming worse," said Dr. Willie Underwood with the board of trustees.

He also shares it's incredibly urgent right now as we approach upcoming festivities.

"That's what no flu FOMO is about right, why should we miss out on the times we're going to have with our families... We decide as a family for Thanksgiving and for Christmas that we are going to be 100% vaccinated... And that's extremely important, why? Because every time you interact with someone else you have a risk of spreading or receiving a virus that can be prevented just by getting a vaccine," said Dr. Underwood.

With COVID cases rising as we head into the flu season, local pediatricians hope more people get vaccinated for both viruses to avoid the healthcare dilemma of dealing with rising COVID and flu cases at the same time.

"There are some overlaps here each year where we offer influenza vaccinations, the case fatalities in young children are higher than other groups from influenza and that is what we are trying to prevent," pediatrician Allison Young.

If you're unsure whether or not to get vaccinated you're encouraged to speak with your physician. For those who wish to get vaccinated for both COVID-19 and receive the flu shot, you can find your nearest clinic on vaccines.gov.