Time to Think About Getting Your Flu Shot

by Brian Wilson
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A University of Iowa medical school graduate who’s now a national spokesman for the American Lung Association is urging Iowans to get an array of vaccinations this fall to protect themselves from the flu, R-S-V, and a resurgence of COVID-19. Pulmonologist Dr. Jamie Rutland says flu cases spiked in Iowa last year, compared to previous pandemic years, as most people were no longer masking or keeping six feet away from others. How severe will the flu season ahead be?

Flu vaccines are already available in Iowa, so he’s hoping people will get their shots now, so their immune systems are ready. That goes double for people who are compromised by things like heart disease, lung disease or diabetes.

Rutland, who practices in his native southern California, says R-S-V is another big concern, especially as flu season approaches, and two R-S-V vaccines are now available, primarily for people 60 and over.

He says it’s especially important for people who are at least 60 years old to get vaccinated for R-S-V. The C-D-C says COVID cases are rising again nationwide, and Rutland says for most people, a COVID booster is highly recommended this fall.

The C-D-C estimates there were as many as 54-million flu cases nationwide last year and between 19- and 58-thousand deaths due to the flu. Iowa health officials report 366 flu deaths statewide in 2021.

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