NJ health official warns of possible 'twindemic,' urges residents to get flu shots

People wearing the protective mask walk on the street as the city reopens from the coronavirus lockdown on June 15, 2020 in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Photo credit Jeenah Moon/Getty Images
By 1010 WINS

TRENTON, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- New Jerseyans should get their flu vaccines as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of a COVID-19 and flu “twindemic,” the head of the state’s health department said Monday. 

Speaking at Gov. Phil Murphy’s briefing Monday afternoon, New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli urged residents to get vaccinated for the flu by the end of October at the latest. 

“This year, we are preparing for the possibility of a ‘twindemic’: a severe flu season and a resurgence of COVID-19, which could strain healthcare resources,” she said. “Therefore, this year, more than ever, it is important that everyone six months of age and older get vaccinated against the flu.”

Getting the flu vaccine won’t protect residents from COVID-19, but it will reduce flu-related illnesses and hospitalizations, she said. It will also help protect those who are more vulnerable to the flu, including babies, young children, older people and people with certain chronic health conditions.

Murphy, for his part, said he got his flu shot on Saturday morning. “I promised I would not show up today if I had not done so,” he said. 

New Jersey reported 346 new COVID-19 cases and three new deaths on Monday, bringing its case total to 196,968 and its death toll to 14,245, the governor said.