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Local health officials push for flu shots

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QUINCY (WGEM) — Adams County Health officials are pushing for flu shots now more than ever.

Health officials say a flu outbreak in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic could cause serious issues for the local healthcare system.

Blessing Health System President and CEO Maureen Kahn says last year in Quincy alone they saw 92,000 people diagnosed with the flu and 13,000 people required hospitalization.

Kahn says those numbers on top of a pandemic could be overwhelming.

"A 'twin-demic' and that is talking about flu season coming upon us at the same time we have COVID-19 here," Kahn explained.

The Adams County Public Health Administrator, Jerrod Welch, says the department plans to have flu shots available as early as next week.

"You could also help the health department prepare for mass COVID-19 vaccinations by participating in our drive-thru flu clinic at the John Wood Community College from 11 to 2 Sunday September 13th," Welch said.

Welch says both COVID-19 precautions and flu-shots are needed to keep the spread of disease down in the community.

"As we practice distribution of vaccine, in vehicles to most age groups, we will change shifts, to ensure that when COVID vaccine become widely available, we're prepared to distribute, as rapidly as possible to our community," Welch explained.

Kahn warns this is nothing to play around with.

"Having these two viruses at the same time could be very difficult for people with chronic disease,"Kahn said. "So we want to make sure that we encourage you to get your immunization."

Kahn says it's safe for parents to start vaccinating their children as young as six months old.

She also encourages anyone who is 65-years-old or older to get their pneumonia shots as well.

Charity Bell

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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