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Prior to the peak flu season, local doctors advise vaccination



Rochester, New York – Doctors are monitoring the spread of the virus this year as flu season begins.

Dr. Stephen Cook of the University of Rochester Medical Center said that during this present acute phase of COVID, he has observed a variety of reactions in patients who are considering getting a flu shot this season and advises getting one as soon as possible.

From the standpoint of the pharmacists, Irondequoit Pharmacy experiences consistent traffic from those looking to obtain their immunizations.

“This is really the time people are starting to think about their flu shots as the weather starts to get colder,” said owner Dr. Dave Seelman.

According to Dr. Seelman, this season’s demand for the flu shot has been consistent, neither higher nor lower than in previous seasons.

Dr. Cook predicts that influenza will be a virus to watch once more, though it may be too early to determine.

“The state is just starting its surveillance network data for this year. I think some people realize as part of the global and national surveillance around COVID and around flu, that we have a better way to identify the risks – to identify if it’s a worse season,” said Dr. Cook.

Dr. Cook claims that he has so far observed a range of responses from families regarding any reluctance to receive the flu vaccine.

“It is kind of a mixed bag and I think the key is that getting the right information from your primary care and from your pediatrician is what’s going to be really key. The reality is we know that people who aren’t vaccinated and are at higher risk of severe complications such as the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to be hospitalized either with the flu or with COVID,” said Dr. Cook.

Dr. Cook also highlighted the stress placed on pharmacies that administer both COVID and flu shots. He claims that this is a result of a continuing lack of healthcare staff as well as a lack of funding to reopen mass immunization facilities.

The state department of health will begin updating its website with weekly flu statistics in the coming weeks.