Duke Health focuses on flu vaccination in hopes of avoiding a 'twindemic'

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- There's a lot of attention on COVID-19 prevention ahead of the holidays, but Duke Health is also focusing on the flu.

The system vaccinated thousands of employees and students in hopes of curbing the possibility of a "twindemic."

"So critical for all of us to preserve our resources in our health systems, so that when our community needs to access care for COVID infection, the care providers are available and the beds are available," said Dr. Carol Epling of Duke Health.

"If we have individuals who get so sick with influenza, then we have that taxing the system making it difficult for people who need treatment for COVID infections," she added.

The state's COVID-19 cases continue to trend in the wrong direction. Vaccines are showing a sign of hope and through Duke's coordinated efforts for the flu vaccine, the health system said its infrastructure is in place the minute COVID-19 vaccines become available.

"We have so many people who are ready to go when we do receive COVID vaccinations," Epling said. "We'll be able to offer it to our healthcare team members who are in that highest-risk category if they are taking care of COVID 19 patients."
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