KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As summer’s end nears and schools look at starting back up, a prominent area doctor says flu season is another cause for concern amid the ongoing pandemic.
Dr. Darrin D’Agostino, executive dean of Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, answered viewers’ questions, one of them being if kids can get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Flu is not like COVID. Flu actually attacks the young and the old and does a lot of damage, so it is highly recommended that we give flu shots to kids.”
Dr. D’Agostino said last year was a particularly tough flu season on children. That’s because one of the strains of the flu, influenza B, was more active than normal.
“This year’s flu shot has two strains of B in it. It’s going to be very important that we give those to children,” he said. “Kids can get (the shots) as young as 6 months old.”
He said Kansas City University is helping distribute the vaccines.
The flu kills an average of between 12,000 and 61,000 deaths each year in the U.S. since 2010, according to the CDC. More than 160,000 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 in the U.S. since the beginning of the pandemic about 6 months ago, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Other important factors include added health factors like asthma and diabetes. D’Agostino said there are a lot of factors at play in deciding whether to send your student with these health factors to school. Watch the video player above for the full interview.
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