2022-09-24 09:14:00 By : Ms. Chris Lu

There are indications the upcoming flu season could be significant.

Dr. Meg Fisher, an infectious disease expert and the acting deputy commissioner of public health for the New Jersey Health Department, said the way doctors predict what kind of a flu season we’re going to have in the Garden State is by looking at what’s already happened in the Southern Hemisphere.

“What we’re predicting is based on what happened in Australia, and in Australia they had a pretty early and a more severe flu season, and in Australia it was particularly severe among children,” she said.

Fisher said the recommendation is everyone at least 6 months old get a flu shot every year.

"It’s really important for the children to get vaccinated, it keeps them in school, it keeps them learning, it keeps them healthy," she said.

Fisher said so far we’re not sure, since “it takes a little while to get that efficacy and we don’t yet know how good a match the vaccine actually is.”

“Although it may not totally prevent you from getting the flu, it will keep you out of the hospital and it will keep you from getting the complications of influenza," she added.

“What it does is it significantly modifies the illness, if you do get it, it’s going to be a milder case.”

Fisher said when you go in for your flu shot you can also get the newly updated COVID booster that specifically targets omicron.

“You can get both of them on the same day. You probably want to get them in different arms,” she said.

She noted getting the flu shot and the COVID booster on the same day is fine not only for adults but for children as well.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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