The prospect of the flu and COVID-19 hitting at the same time in the fall offers a uniquely daunting situation for providers. Adhering to certain protocols, however, will help, experts said.  

Practicing social distancing, mask wearing and handwashing — all of which help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 — “are not only going to affect COVID, but other respiratory viruses,” as well, Robert Redfield, M.D., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told McKnight’s in July.

Similarly, the flu shot must play a bigger role this year in long-term care facilities, where staff vaccination rates have remained below 70%, he said.  

Nancy Losben, a consultant pharmacist for Omnicare, a CVS Health company, agreed. 

“Everybody on the nursing home staff needs to receive their vaccination,” she said during a McKnight’s webinar in August.

Many myths persist with the flu vaccine, she noted, including the misconceptions that it can cause the flu and Alzheimer’s disease.