ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) — Governor Brian Kemp and Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey are urging Georgians to get a flu shot.
During a news conference Wednesday morning, they encouraged people to continue to wear masks, wash their hands and keep their distance. They say getting a flu shot is also part of the state’s COVID-19 response.
“Never has it been more important to get a flu shot than this year,” said Dr. Toomey. “We realize that people sometimes don’t think a flu shot is effective, are afraid to get or just don’t bother. This is particularly important this year. We’re trying to prevent ‘twindemics’ of COVID plus influenza, which could be devastating.”
“We don’t know what the presence of influenza may do to a COVID infection but at the same time flu itself can be very deadly, can lead to hospitalizations, it can fill up our hospitals and then not have capacity for COVID patients,” said Toomey.
DeKalb County is among the local counties offering drive-thru flu shots. They’re available Monday-Friday 9-11 a.m. at the North DeKalb Health Center in Chamblee.
Governor Kemp said Georgians have been doing their part to keep themselves and others safe and need to keep it up.
“We said we needed Georgians to be part of the solution and not part of the problem and I’m very thankful and very proud of the fact that Georgians have stepped up to the plate and have done the right thing,” said Kemp.
‘We’ve been able to keep businesses open, most kids have been able to return to schools and people have been able to go about their lives in a smart, responsible way but that is only sustainable if we continue to do our part moving forward,” he said.
The governor said new cases of the coronavirus are down 64% from the state’s peak July 24. COVID-19 patients make up 8.8% of patients in hospitals across the state, he said.
Later in the day Wednesday the state reported 1,554 new confirmed cases and 32 additional deaths. There have been 326,142 confirmed cases in Georgia during the pandemic with 7,259 deaths.