Eastern Carolina health experts urge flu vaccination

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported the first flu-related death of the 2021-2022 flu season on Tuesday.

Some health experts say they saw a decrease in flu shot numbers since the start of the pandemic. The Onslow County Health Department recorded 1,568 flu shots in its 2019-2020 flu season data, and 1,483 in 2020-2021.

Whitney Jezek, the health department’s vaccine coordinator, says there was a decrease in flu cases since the start of the pandemic, “because everyone was wearing a mask, washing their hands, and staying 6 feet apart.”

The health department offers vaccinations for both COVID-19 and the flu.

Jezek explains that the vaccines are safe to be given on the same day and are essential for preventing extreme health scares.

“This is kind of a vaccine-preventable cause, so that’s why in public health we believe so passionately about vaccinations because they are designed to prevent somebody from getting so sick that they’re hospitalized or so sick that they’re on a [ventilator], or worse, so sick that they pass away,” Jezek says.

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