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CDC director urges Americans to get flu vaccine during coronavirus pandemic

 A top U.S. health official says a second wave of coronavirus cases will be even worse if Americans don't get vaccinated for the flu. (Source: CNN)
A top U.S. health official says a second wave of coronavirus cases will be even worse if Americans don't get vaccinated for the flu. (Source: CNN) (GIM)
Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 1:31 PM CDT
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(CNN) – While experts continue to warn about the devastating effects of a second wave of coronavirus cases, a top U.S. health official says it will be even worse if Americans don’t get a flu shot.

Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said it’s especially important to be vaccinated against the flu.

Redfield said if a second wave of coronavirus hits when the flu season is underway, it could really strain hospitals, but if more people get their flu shot, it could ease a potential strain on resources.

Redfield said only about 47% of Americans take advantage of the flu vaccine, but he’s hoping the public will see that it’s a major way they can help the nation get through the fall.

Not all flu cases are reported, but the CDC estimates there were up to 56 million cases – with up to 62,000 deaths – from Oct. 1, 2019, through April 4, 2020.

Though the flu is detected year-round in the U.S., flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter.

Redfield also said social distancing will continue to play an important role as a major defense against COVID-19 later in the year.

Copyright 2020 CNN. All rights reserved.

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