A medical technician prepares a flu shot in 2018. Courtesy County News Center

The public health community is preparing for the second year of the double threat of coronavirus and influenza.

During the first day of operation of the new Scripps Health vaccination station at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on this week, 1,000 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots and 500 influenza vaccine were provided to Scripps patients and employees.

This year’s flu season is likely to be more typical – rather than the almost non-existent season seen last year when most employees continued to work from home while donning masks and practicing social distancing when they did go out.

A report from San Diego County this week found 167 influenza cases have been recorded so far in the community this year, well above the prior three-year average of 102 cases at the same time.

Last year, only five flu cases had been reported at this point. This week’s figure puts the current flu season more in line with the busier seasons recorded in 2017-18 and 2019-2020.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that there may be “reduced population immunity’ this flu season due to lack of virus activity since March 2020.

That, according to the CDC, could result in an early and possibly severe season. The agency suggests that it’s optimal to receive a flu shot by the end of October.

Officials are urging residents to have both vaccinations.

“With flu season underway, there’s no better time than now to get immunized against influenza and COVID-19,” Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder said.

– Staff and wire reports

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