The number of COVID-19 cases might be trending down, but there are growing concerns about another virus - the flu.
"There’s a possibility that they didn’t guess correctly, so the flu vaccine may not be very effective this year. I’m not saying it won’t be, I’m saying there’s that possibility,’ said Doctor Catherine Troisi, an infectious disease epidemiologist at UTHealth School of Public Health.
"Scientists have to guess six months ahead of time because it takes that long to make the vaccine, so what the scientists do is look what is circulating in the southern hemisphere where it is winter when we have summer," said Dr. Troisi. "Flu is transmitted person to person through the air so what that shows is that masks work and they prevent transmission of respiratory viruses. We really didn’t see that much activity last year for flu.".
According to the CDC, in 2019-2020, there were 199 flu-related deaths in children. The season before that there were 144. This year, one child. Dr. Troisi recommends you get the flu vaccine even if the scientists guess wrong.
"Some people will say the vaccine doesn’t work very well. It is true that some years it doesn’t protect you from getting sick as much as you might like, what it does do though is protect you from being hospitalized and dying," said Dr. Troisi.