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'A Flu Season Unlike Any Other': Texas Gov. Abbott, Medical Experts Urge Getting Vaccines Early During Pandemic

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was in Dallas Thursday to give an update alongside medical experts about the state's response to the upcoming flu season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abbott held a roundtable and then a news conference at UT Southwestern Medical Center about how residents can get ahead of the flu season, especially as they continue to stay aware of the novel coronavirus.

The governor mentioned how hospitals could see an influx in patients if the flu isn't dealt with ahead of time.

"With a flu season that could be prolific, if that leads to greater hospitalizations coupled with the hospitalizations we're seeing for COVID-19, you could easily see how hospitals in this region as well as across Texas will be completely overrun with an inability for the hospitals to take care of the medical needs of everybody in the entire region," Abbott said.

Due to this foreshadowing, Abbott said it was discussed in the roundtable that residents should get the flu vaccine as early as possible this year.

"One of the things we wanted to urge everybody today is to first understand the importance of getting ahead of the curve with regard to the flu during this time of COVID-19 and the best way that you can get ahead of the curve is by going up and making sure that you do get a flu vaccine," Abbott said.

The governor said the time period of getting a flu vaccine can be being as early as September.

UT Southwestern Medical Center President Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky also weighed in on getting ahead of the flu by urging vaccinations as well.

"We do understand we are facing a challenge of a flu season unlike any other because of the convergence with COVID-19 and I can only emphasize, I can't emphasize too strongly you're (Abbott's) message of the importance this year of getting that vaccine early so that we do everything we can to diminish the overall impact of the flu and the potential stress it will place on our ability to provide all the care needed by the people of North Texas," Podolsky said.

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