DENVER — Colorado health experts anticipate this year's flu season will arrive sooner than in previous years. On top of that, they believe the virus could be stronger due to the lower flu numbers seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Denver mom Morgan Sturm is doing what she can to keep her family flu free.
“We’ve been able to get one child vaccinated against the flu. He's 18 months old, so it kind of lined up with his pediatrician appointment,” she said.
Sturm also rolled up her sleeve to get the vaccine. As for her older son, who is four and a half, Sturm says he will get his shot soon.
“We’re not looking forward to flu season, so we're going to be pretty well protected,” she said.
Doctors suggest people get the shot now.
“Let’s get vaccinated sooner than later so you don't get caught by an early flu bug, because that's the best precaution we have,” said Dr. Karen Woolf, medical director of the emergency room at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.
Woolf says doctors typically look at Australia’s flu data to predict what could come to the U.S.. Since Australia's flu season came sooner and was more severe, doctors believe that could be the case here, too.
However, it's not just the flu shot Woolf says parents should be concerned about.
“Early in the pandemic, we saw a lot of folks just put off doctor's visits,” she said.
By missing those visits, some children missed their routine vaccinations, which protect against a variety of illnesses, including tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps and rubella.
“If polio can come back, any of these illnesses we've kind of taken for granted can come back,” Woolf said.
That's why Sturm is making sure her kids are up-to-date on all their shots. To parents questioning vaccinations, she told Denver7 to trust the experts.
“I always just recommend go with your pediatrician's recommendations. They follow CDC guidelines, and it makes your life easy if you just follow what your doctor says,” said Sturm.
Woolf says if you don't have insurance, Medicaid could be an option for your family.