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Doctors urge Connecticut residents to get the flu vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual flu vaccination for people 6 months and older.
Justin Sullivan
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual flu vaccination for people 6 months and older.

As the flu season approaches, doctors expect the rate of cases to increase now that COVID restrictions are no longer in place.

Doctor Jo-Anne Passalacqua works at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport. Passalacqua said residents in Connecticut are more susceptible to getting the flu this year because several COVID restrictions were lifted.

“We actually saw the effect of masking and social distancing when the COVID restrictions were in place. We have to remember that both COVID and flu are spread in similar ways,” Passalacqua said.

Passalacqua said it will be the first flu season without those restrictions, which means residents are more susceptible to the virus than in previous years. 

“Low levels of circulating flu and reduced exposure to the flu for the last several years has probably caused our natural immunity to the flu virus to wane,” Passalacqua said.

The Center for Disease Control said that everyone older than 6 months can get the flu vaccine. Passalacqua recommends everyone get the vaccine, especially those that are immunocompromised or have a lung condition.

Passalacqua adds that this year there will be three different vaccine choices for people over the age of 75.

Residents should aim to get their flu vaccine between October 1 and November 15.

Jeniece Roman is WSHU's Report for America corps member who writes about Indigenous communities in Southern New England and Long Island, New York.