Even as the COVID-19 crisis continues, public health officials are warning that an influenza pandemic might emerge this fall or winter. A double pandemic would kill even more people than COVID-19 on its own and strain the already overworked health care system. To prevent that deadly combination, plans have stepped up their usual flu-season member outreach programs, particularly for seniors.
The public health community has issued stern warnings about the danger of a double pandemic. An Aug. 14 clinical update published on the Journal of the American Medical Association website called the “looming threat of concurrent influenza and COVID-19 epidemics” a “major concern for public health officials and clinicians.” The article urged health care leaders to take a proactive approach to getting the public vaccinated for influenza.