Boston pediatric hospitals report ‘increases in patient volume,’ officials urge residents to get flu shots

Pediatric ICUs and children’s hospitals in Boston are reporting “noticeable increases in patient volume,” according to health officials who are urging residents to get their annual flu shot and stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Boston Public Health Commission on Tuesday, while promoting flu vaccination clinics in the city, noted that pediatric intensive care units and local children’s hospitals are “already experiencing noticeable increases in patient volume because of the new school year and changes in the weather.”

The health officials are warning that the combo of high rates of COVID-19 and flu could put serious strain on Boston’s health care system, especially emergency care — which is why the Boston Public Health Commission is encouraging residents to get up-to-date on their vaccinations early in the season.

“Getting your annual flu shot is one of the best ways to stay healthy this winter as we prepare to spend more time indoors with friends and family,” said Bisola Ojikutu, commissioner of Public Health and executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission.

“Being vaccinated against the flu and staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations are essential for preventing severe illness,” Ojikutu added. “If you get the flu, remember to stay home to avoid spreading it to others and to get plenty of rest and hydration to support your recovery.”

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