Community Impact Newspaper spoke with Dr. Sam Rolon, a physician at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group Creekside Family Medicine in The Woodlands, about this year’s upcoming flu season, who should receive influenza vaccinations and how to address possible flu cases amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What is typically defined as flu season? We actually see flu all year long nowadays. We used to not really see it for whatever reason, but nowadays, we see the peak from October through March. But still, last year, I saw it all the way through May [and] June. So, it still lingers a little bit with people traveling and just getting exposed to a minor pocket somewhere.
When would you advise people to get their flu shots this year? For the general population, get it between mid- to late September through late October. … Anytime that you can get it, the sooner, the better, just to make sure you’re vaccinated. … Prevention is key this year for the same reason [as] when COVID[-19] started: … ‘[getting] the surge down’ so that we don’t overburden the hospitals. … We need to have hospital beds available, and we’re just trying to manage public health and make sure that we keep as many people healthy as possible so that we don’t have bad outcomes—so we don’t lose unnecessary, preventable lives from flu, from COVID[-19], from pneumonia, from whatever.
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