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Preparing for Fall: Back to School and Influenza Season

July 15, 2020

Increasing and maintaining vaccine coverage is an important way to prevent the spread of disease and keep communities healthy. Efforts to reduce COVID-19 transmission, such as social distancing, led to fewer people seeking non-urgent medical care and receiving routine vaccinations. Recent studies (here and here) demonstrate that childhood vaccine uptake has decreased since the onset of COVID-19, leaving many children under or unvaccinated. Ensuring routine vaccination services during the COVID-19 pandemic is an important way to prevent spread of serious illness, hospitalizations, and further strain on the healthcare system.

This fall it will be vital for individuals to get vaccinated for the flu to reduce the overall burden of respiratory illness, protect vulnerable populations, and decrease burden on the healthcare system. In this episode, our guests give the national and state-level perspective of what to expect this upcoming flu season, and why it’s so important to adhere to a vaccination schedule.


  • Nancy Messonnier, MD, Director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Jose Romero, MD, Interim State Health Official, Arkansas Department of Health
    Chair, Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices
    Section Chief of Pediatric Infectious Disease, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute