Pediatrician warns of potentially bad flu season

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 4:53 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Hundreds of children have already gotten their flu shots at pediatric offices in Chatham County.

Doctors say this could be one of the worst flu seasons in decades.

Pediatric Associates of Savannah have been administering the flu vaccine for about a month now and Dr. Ben Spitalnick says they aren’t seeing enough people coming to get vaccinated.

“After two years people having less immunity because we’ve not been catching the flu, it could be a bad year,” Dr. Spitalnick said.

While Dr. Spitalnick would like to see more people getting the shot, he says they’re close to giving out a thousand shots in one month.

He says this flu season, expected in the winter, is projected to be overwhelming. That’s judging off data from Australia, since the U.S typically follows their flu trends.

Australia is in the southern hemisphere, so their winter season happens during our summertime. That lets American doctors have an idea of what to expect here. Australia has seen one of their worst influenza seasons in decades.

“We’ve been talking so much Coronavirus vaccines, it may have people start to forget about the importance of flu vaccines. Before the pandemic, the flu was the number one vaccine preventable cause of death in the United States. We did not see a flu season the last two years which has been great because of masking, because of social distancing,” he said.

Health departments across Coastal Georgia are also administering flu shots and nasal spray vaccine.

He says in the coming week they hope to start having weekend vaccine clinics for those who can’t make it to get the shot during the week.