Opinion: Protect against COVID-19 AND influenza this winter

Litjen Tan

We celebrate the anniversary of the first COVID-19 vaccines this winter — and progress in controlling the virus. With vaccines readily available and recommended for everyone age 5 years and older, more people are traveling and including travel in their holiday plans.

While we welcome the return of more human connection, one unwelcome consequence is an increase in influenza activity. With COVID-19 prevention measures in place, the 2020–21 influenza season was marked by historically low influenza virus circulation. Yet influenza activity is on the rebound for 2021-22. With the return of influenza comes both mild and severe illness in all ages, including infants, pregnant people, older adults and people with chronic health conditions.  

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