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‘Get that shot’: After mild flu season, El Paso doctor worries about rising cases this year

EL PASO, Texas -- The City of El Paso experienced one of its most mild flu seasons last year, but now there are concerns that things could be different this time around.

Last year's flu season coincided with the height of the pandemic.

Dr. Ed Michaelson, of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center of El Paso, said the preventative measures against Covid-19 helped slow the spread of the flu.

The City of El Paso says flu cases went down from more than 14,000 in 2019 to 13,000 in 2020.

El Paso's Health Department said the city has seen an increase on the demand for the flu vaccine.

"The city’s average flu vaccine numbers are 3,500, but last year we increased the number of flu vaccines to prevent an increase in flu illness on top of Covid-19 illness," said a spokesperson for the department.

"This year we have received 5,000 doses for individuals 65 years and older; and are awaiting the additional doses for individuals 3 years and older."

It's important to note those numbers only reflect the department's allocation. Doctors offices and pharmacies get thousands of doses as well.

Last year, the health department administered 44,000 doses of the flu vaccine alone.

Michaelson says since cases weren't as high and there aren't as many safety measures in place now immunity for influenza may have gone down, which is why he believes it important for El Pasoans continue to get vaccinated for influenza.

"Most people with influenza simply are sick and stay home for a few days. But every year, we do have deaths, both in adults and children from influenza. So I really encourage everyone to get their shot," he said.

The city has several clinics where you can receive a free flu vaccine. You can find the locations by clicking here.

Brianna Chavez

Brianna Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter/producer.

Comments

3 Comments

  1. If most people with influenza simply are sick and stay home for a few days then how do they know how many people actually had the flu or if the flu cases in fact decreased? I guess you can call 1-800 I had the flu.

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