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The One Thing You Shouldn't Do Before The Next COVID Surge

Skipping this yearly health ritual could prove fatal — especially for kids. 
Family face mask shopping

The temperatures are starting to drop and COVID-19 cases are continuing to spike around the country. According to experts, we are on the verge of another deadly coronavirus surge, and they are concerned. To add even more fuel to the pandemic fire, cold and flu season just around the corner — and nobody is sure exactly what is going to happen when the viruses coincide. This is why health organizations such as the CDC have started their flu vaccine earlier than usual this year, hoping to get more people vaccinated before the end of October. However, according to a recent poll, a shocking number of people aren't planning on getting the yearly immunity booster — and this is a huge mistake according to a top Yale Medicine pediatric infectious disease expert. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

1 in 3 Parents Plan to Skip Flu Shots For Their Kids

Per the National Poll on Children's Health released on Monday, one-third of American parents aren't planning on getting their kids vaccinated for the flu this year. Additionally, despite the warnings of health experts, two-thirds of parents do not believe that the flu shot is any more important for their children this year, despite the deadly virus. 

According to the survey, those who didn't get their children the flu vaccine last year were the most likely to skip it this year. Many of them claimed to be concerned about the side effects of the vaccine or bestow a belief that it isn't effective. 96 percent of those who had their children vaccinated last year plan to do so again. 

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Why Getting a Flu Vaccine is Important This Year

However, getting a flu vaccine is especially important this year, per Marietta Vázquez, MD, a Yale Medicine pediatric infectious disease doctor and professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine.

"With over 7 million cases and over 200,000 deaths in the US from COVID-19 alone, we must protect the population from influenza," Dr. Vázquez explains to Eat This, Not That! Health. "COVID-19 on top of influenza infection or vice versa may increase the risk of complications and deaths."

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Children at High Risk 

While children are less impacted by COVID-19 than adults, and much less likely to suffer serious illness, complications, or death, this isn't the case with influenza. Per the CDC, there were 188 pediatric deaths confirmed from the virus during the 2019-2020 season, however, they estimate that the number of actual fatalities is closer to 600. Additionally, 7,000 to 26,000 children under 5 in the United States are hospitalized from flu-related illness and complications every year.

"Children younger than 5 years old — especially those younger than 2 — are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications," states CDC, who maintain that the flu shot is more important than ever this year, regardless of age. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert and key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force has also been adamantly promoting the annual vaccination. 

"You should get it no later than the end of October," he told Dr. Sanjay Gupta during the CITIZEN by CNN Conference on Tuesday. "If it's available now, you should get it now. Don't wait until any time beyond October."

And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.