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

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Oct 27, 2020 - World

Putin mandates face masks as Russia combats second COVID-19 wave

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday instituted a nationwide mask mandate, as the nation tries to combat a second spike of COVID-19 cases, according to an order published by Rospotrebnadzor, the federal health watchdog agency.

By the numbers: Russia currently has the fourth-most coronavirus cases in the world, with 1,537,142, according to Johns Hopkins data, behind the U.S., India and Brazil. Russia has reported 26,092 deaths to date.

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Consumer confidence sinking Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

Deadly Hurricane Zeta slams U.S. Gulf Coast

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a 55-year-old man was "electrocuted by a downed power line" in Louisiana as the storm caused widespread power outages Wednesday night, per AP.

What's happening: Zeta made landfall south of New Orleans as a Category 2 hurricane earlier Wednesday before weakening to Category 1. But it was still "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi with life-threatening storm surge, high winds, and heavy rain" late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.