Arizona officials, AARP and health care providers are encouraging residents to get flu shots as soon as possible.
The annual vaccination is even more important this year, to prevent further strain on a health care system already struggling with the pandemic.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona steadily dropped over the summer, but experts warn that another spike is likely this winter. Older adults are among the most vulnerable to serious illness from the coronavirus and the flu.
“We’re really trying to get the word out this year about how critical it is to get your flu shot sooner rather than later, especially if you have underlying health conditions,” said Dana Kennedy, AARP Arizona state director.
AARP plans to launch a social media and email campaign to reach members. It is working closely with Gov. Doug Ducey (R), local and state health agencies, and other community partners.
About 700 Arizonans die each year from the flu, according to HonorHealth, a Phoenix-based health system. State data shows that as of late September, more than 5,600 residents had died of COVID-19-related illness—the majority 65 or older.
For information on the virus, visit azhealth.gov/COVID19 or call 844-542-8201. Learn more about the flu at azhealth.gov/flu or call 800-314-9243.
—James E. Garcia