PAHO urges public to continue getting vaccinations for other illnesses during pandemic

World health leaders are urging people to continue to get the flu shot and other vaccines that are available now in order to help ease the already overburdened health care system.

WASHINGTON — World health leaders are urging people to continue to get the flu shot and other vaccines that are available now in order to help ease the already overburdened health care system.

They said they don’t want hospitals to be flooded with people with preventable diseases.

"We must vaccinate to protect health workers, the elderly and vulnerable population,” said Dr. Carissa Etienne, Director of Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

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Etienne said people should make sure children are still getting measles immunizations to avoid an additional outbreak.

"Efforts to control measles must continue safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic or we risk erasing 20 years of progress,” Etienne said. "The impact on our health systems would take months or even years to reverse."

There are efforts underway to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 but right now there isn’t one available to the public.

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