Healthcare professionals urge residents to get flu shots as pandemic continues

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – Earlier this month the United Health Foundation released its annual report detailing America’s health statistics by state. 

One topic the report looked at was flu vaccination rates. It saw that although less people are getting vaccinated then what is ideal, vaccinations have slowly been trickling up.

According to Dr. Rhonda Randall, the Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of United Health Care, the United states is well below it’s standards of meeting flu vaccination goals. 

“We saw that flu vaccinations increased nationally by 25% between 2018-2019, so that’s good progress. But that number still is well below the goal of having 70% of individuals vaccinated,” Dr. Randall said.

Dr. Randall also serves as a senior advisor with the United Health Foundation. She says that getting the flu shot is especially important this year due to the pandemic. 

“Only 44% of adults got their flu shot last year. So it’s a great call to action this year for all of us. There’s still plenty of time to get your flu shot. The flu season is just kicking off this year, and the last thing that we want to have is the flu and COVID happening at the same time.” 

Despite the low national numbers, West Virginia actually fares well in the annual report for flu vaccines. Roughly 67% of residents over 65 years old got the flu vaccine last year, which was slightly above the national average.

If you’re looking to get a flu vaccine, they’re available at health departments, pharmacies and even some supermarkets for low or no cost.