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Surgeon General Jerome Adams the American Red Cross National Headquarters on July 30. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Friday stressed the importance of Americans getting flu vaccines for the next influenza season, noting that the country has "been backsliding in terms of vaccine confidence over the last several years."

Why it matters: A bad flu season could put even more strain on the country's health system resources, which are especially limited in domestic coronavirus epicenters like Florida and California.

What he's saying: "This is the most important flu season that we've faced in, I'd say my lifetime. And it really is going to be important for two reasons. As you mentioned, we don't want the double whammy of our ICUs being overwhelmed with flu cases, in addition to COVID-19 cases, but we also need to socialize the idea of vaccinations," Adams said on SirusXM.

  • "We've been backsliding in terms of vaccine confidence over the last several years. We almost lost our measles eradication status last year as a country."
  • "So we really need to understand that 50% of adults slightly under that get their flu vaccine in any given year. ... And if we have that level of compliance for COVID vaccine, then it doesn't matter how effective or how safe this vaccine is, it's still not going to help us stop this outbreak."
  • "And I am hopeful. I'm hopeful that because of coronavirus, we may actually see vaccine uptake increase across the country, particularly for vaccinations like the flu vaccine."

Go deeper: How to avoid dueling outbreaks of coronavirus and flu

Go deeper

Updated 23 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Louisiana officials find "probable" Omicron case in cruise ship COVID outbreak — CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: NYC to impose vaccine mandate on private employers — Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy.
  4. World: U.S. announces $400M for global COVID vaccine distribution — Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Nov 15, 2020 - World

Mexico tops 1 million coronavirus cases, as death toll nears 100,000

A sign above crowds of people in a street in Mexico City, Mexico, warning to "avoid masses" and keep distance from others during a nationwide, 12-day shopping event that's running through Nov. 20, designed to stimulate the economy. Photo: Cristopher Rogel Blanquet/Getty Images

Mexico surpassed 1 million coronavirus cases and over 98,200 deaths from COVID-19 late Saturday, per Johns Hopkins data.

Driving the news: Mexican health officials have focused on testing the seriously ill and conducted only about 2.5 million COVID-19 tests in total — representing 1.9% of the population, AP reports.

Nov 14, 2020 - Health

Austria announces nationwide lockdown as COVID-19 cases soar

Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz hold a news confernce in Vienna. Photo: Herbert Neubauer/APA/AFP via Getty Images

Austria will impose a nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Saturday, after a nighttime curfew and partial shutdown failed to control the country's surge in coronavirus cases.

Why it matters: Austria is experiencing an average of 7,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, Kurz tweeted on Saturday. The nation confirmed a record 9,586 new virus cases on Friday, per Reuters.