‘More focused on COVID-19’ Flu shot not top of mind for some El Pasoans

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Flu season is approaching, and Immunize El Paso already has flu shots ready to be distributed, but there may be an unexpected barrier.

Last year, Immunize El Paso administered almost 13,000 flu shots, an increase from years past. However this year, officials say people might be feeling COVID fatigue but when it comes to vaccines.

El Pasoan James Garcia tells KTSM 9 News that he hadn’t even thought about getting the flu shot.

“It wasn’t on the back of my mind and I never got sick, I didn’t get a cold or anything so I was more focused on COVID and the masks,” said Garcia.

Garcia added that he didn’t get the shot last year either and now isn’t sure if he will this year or not.

Immunize El Paso is reminding the community that they can get the COVID-19 vaccine and your flu shot at the same time.

“It is safe to co-administer an influenza vaccine with a COVID vaccine if anyone has a doubt,” said Danny Acosta the Director of Immunize El Paso.

Acosta says they are encouraging people who come in for a third shot COVID-19 shot to get both.

“So when someone registered for their third shot of COVID vaccine, we encourage them to get their flu vaccine at the same visit, they’re already here getting immunized and you know that will protect them against the flu illness,” said Acosta.

Currently Immunize El Paso is administering third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for those who are immunocompromised, immunosuppressed.

Acosta is calling Immunize El Paso’s approach for this flu season “aggressive.”

“Reaching out to employers so we can visit worksites to get employees vaccinated against flu and COVID as well. This year we’re running our programs concurrently during flu and COVID,” said Acosta.

Acosta adds that he doesn’t want people to forget about flu, even though El Paso saw very low numbers last flu season.

“It could be attributed to high influenza vaccination rate or a lot of the mitigation factors we took for COVID,” said Acosta.

Immunize El Paso says anyone 6 months or older can get a flu shot and that the average cost without insurance is $30.

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