HEALTHY IN UTAH

Doctors: COVID-19 Pandemic Makes It Even More Important To Get A Flu Shot

Oct 14, 2020, 9:10 PM | Updated: 9:34 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — While some people may be hesitant to visit a health clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors said it’s more important than ever to get a flu shot this year.

One Utah family makes it a priority every year, despite tears from their little ones.

Like other mothers, Brittany Henslee purposefully doesn’t tell her two boys when they’re getting flu shots. She said it’s better for everyone that way.

“I think they found out when we walked up and they said, ‘Are you getting flu shots?’” Brittany Henslee said. “He tensed up and grabbed onto us.”

She immediately comforted her 6-year-old son, Kaden Henslee.

“It’s ok, remember how brave you can be?” she said. “Hold Daddy’s hand.”

Henslee and his 3-year-old brother, Braxton Henslee, quickly forgot about their pain when they were rewarded with some time at the park afterward.

Although it’s not always a fun experience, Brittany Henslee wants her family to be protected.

“So they can grow up and live the best life possible by getting all these immunities to help them fight things that may come their way, especially with everything going on these days,” she said.

Tamara Sheffield, Intermountain Healthcare’s medical director of community health and prevention, said the COVID-19 pandemic makes it even more important to get a flu shot this year.

“So that we don’t have both viruses happening at the same time,” she said.

Sheffield said the more people who get flu vaccinations in Utah this year will reduce flu-related deaths and hospitalizations.

“We need to make sure that we are not using our health care resources to treat people who become very ill with influenza,” said Sheffield.

She said those who are vaccinated but still end up getting influenza tend to have a less severe case, reducing hospitalizations and other complications.

She said it’s especially important for people with chronic illnesses to get vaccinated since the natural body creates an inflammatory response when it’s trying to fight off influenza.

“So people with diabetes have worse diabetes, people who have heart disease … we have higher rates of heart attack in those individuals after they’ve had the influenza because of the inflammation that affects the other parts of their body,” Sheffield said.

In addition to protecting their young family, the Henslees want to also keep their high-risk family members safe.

“So that we can still see grandma and grandpa and play with cousins and … go to school,” Henslee said.

The Henslees are employing every mitigation strategy possible.

“We do the flu shot. We have the mask, make sure we use our hand sanitizer,” she said.

“The way we make it a mild season is by using all the tools we have to prevent respiratory infections,” Sheffield said. “One of the best tools we have is vaccines.”

Despite rumors, Sheffield made it clear: “There is no evidence anywhere that says if you’ve gotten a flu vaccine, you are more likely to get COVID.”

Although Kaden Henslee was nervous, he encouraged his friends to also get a flu shot.

“Well, I wouldn’t want to scare ’em, but yeah!” he said.

Sheffield said October is the best time to get a flu shot before the virus starts spreading in the fall and winter months. She said many clinics in the state are expanding their hours and offering drive-up services to make it easier for everyone to get vaccinated.

The Henslees got their vaccinations at ARUP Laboratories, which is a clinic only available to laboratory employees and their families. They do not offer flu vaccinations to the general public.

To find a flu shot clinic near you and for more information on how to stay healthy, visit InUtah.org/healthy.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Healthy In Utah

FILE: GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 08: Grace Thomson receives the coronavirus vaccine from Paula Mc...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV

Utah reports 2,297 cases, 17 deaths since yesterday

The Utah Department of Health on Wednesday said 17 more Utahns have died due to COVID-19 and 2,297  Utah residents have tested positive for the virus.
7 months ago
Triathlete, Kevin Moore, has beat his stage four pancreatic cancer and is preparing for his next ra...
Jed Boal, KSL TV

Triathlete overcomes his biggest challenge yet: stage four pancreatic cancer

Triathlete Kevin Moore beats stage four pancreatic cancer.
7 months ago
Photos of Silvia Melendez, who died from COVID-19 in March. (KSL-TV)...
Aley Davis, KSL TV

West Jordan Family Who Lost Daughter To COVID-19 Urges Families To Stay Home This Thanksgiving

While Thanksgiving is usually a time to gather as family, this year, some will be mourning the loss of loved ones due to COVID-19. One Utah family is begging people to take precautions this holiday.
2 years ago
FILE (KSL TV)...
Dan Spindle, KSL TV

It’s National School Psychology Week

Nov. 9 - 13 is National School Psychology Week, which highlights "the important work school psychologists and other educators do to help all students thrive," according to nasponline.org.
2 years ago
KSL TV...
Dan Spindle, KSL TV

Study Shows Family Dinners Better For Physical, Mental Health

Sitting down for family dinner and eating together is better for the physical health and overall function for children. 
2 years ago
FILE...
Dan Spindle & Matthew Jacobson, KSL TV

How To Celebrate Halloween Safely This Year

Halloween is just two weeks away, and many household conversations are likely centered around not just what costumes to wear or what candy to buy, but also what the holiday will look like during the pandemic. 
2 years ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Doctors: COVID-19 Pandemic Makes It Even More Important To Get A Flu Shot