2020 brought a lot of firsts in healthcare and, as we enter into flu season amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are faced with the potential of another one: a twindemic.
Here’s what you need to know:
- What is a twindemic? The “twindemic,” a term likely coined by the New York Times, refers to a time when a severe flu epidemic coincides with a wave of COVID-19.
- What would it mean for the healthcare system? On every level, healthcare is already facing unprecedented challenges in providing quality care and protecting employees from COVID-19. An influx of flu patients would put additional strain on systems that are already stretched thin.
- What about the COVID-19 vaccine? The FDA has granted emergency use authorization for COVID vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer, and additional options are in advanced trial phases. Vaccines is being distributed in phases that vary from state to state. For more information on vaccine rollouts in your community, visit your state’s department of health website.
- What can I do? The 2020-2021 flu vaccine is available — and getting one has never been more critical. The CDC has shared resources to make it easier to find locations to receive a flu shot, as well as other important vaccines. Also, keep track of COVID vaccine distribution in your state, and make an appointment to get one when you are eligible.
- How can I tell if I am experiencing COVID or flu symptoms? COVID and the flu can present similarly. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, begin quarantining immediately and contact your doctor.
The CDC is regularly updating its guidelines around COVID-19, and it is critical to stay on top of the latest information and follow the precautions. Adhering to these protocols, and getting a flu vaccine, will help minimize the chances of a twindemic.
There is still a lot that we don’t know about COVID-19 and what it will bring next. But, at Abarca, we are sure of one thing: we are in this together. And we will continue to provide the best possible resources and information to our clients, partners, and members.
This blog was written by Ana M. Rivera, PharmD, Clinical Programs Manager at Abarca.