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Spectrum News 1: COVID-19 Is Dwindling, But Could LA County Have a Bad Flu Season?

Spectrum News 1 recently interviewed Jonathan Vickburg, LMFT, associate director of Community Health Improvement at Cedars-Sinai, about the importance of getting a flu shot this year in preparation for a potentially rough flu season.

Spectrum News 1 spoke with Vickburg at a free flu vaccine clinic open to the public, one of many hosted by Cedars-Sinai throughout Los Angeles this fall. Vickburg said he is hoping to reduce the likelihood that Angelenos could get both the flu and COVID-19, which also could spike this winter.

“Contracting two things is worse than one thing,” Vickburg told Spectrum News 1. “If we can get everybody vaccinated with both the new improved [COVID-19] boosters and flu shots, then we’re in a much better place so that we can all go back to a more normal existence.”

The measures put in place to combat COVID-19 over the past two years also led to a big reduction in flu cases. But now that most of those restrictions—like wearing masks—have been lifted, a lack of previous exposure to the influenza virus could lead to more infections this winter. Experts also have been tracking a spike in flu cases in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year, which could foretell the coming flu season in the Northern Hemisphere.

The flu has already picked up in some parts of the U.S., where cases are already rising. Last year, 44% of U.S. adults did not get a flu shot. Public health officials are urging members of the public not to skip the vaccine this year.

Click here to watch the complete segment from Spectrum News 1.