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Fewer Coloradans have gotten flu shots so far this year

The state is encouraging people to get those shots to help hospitals.

COLORADO, USA — Fewer Coloradans have gotten their flu shots this year compared to last year, and now, the state is encouraging people to get those shots to help hospitals.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) said 1.8 million Coloradans had received their flu shot by this time last year. That's 200,000 more than the number so far this year. 

CDPHE Immunization Branch Chief Heather Roth said it's too early to tell if fewer people will get the shot this year or if they're waiting a bit longer.

Roth said 2020 was a record-breaking year for Colorado when it comes to flu shots. 

"So I'm not sure we can take it as baseline, but we always like to improve year to year," she said. 

According to state data, 36 people have been hospitalized with the flu in Colorado since Oct. 3--and 19 of those were last week.

"Our hospital systems are stretched right now, and getting the flu vaccine is one simple step that we can all take as Coloradans to protect our health care system and give our health care workers a break while they continue to manage the effects of COVID hospitalizations," she said.

Roth said people may have simply forgotten to get the shot, or they're more focused on their COVID-19 vaccine boosters. 

"It's not too late to get your flu vaccine," she said. "There's plenty of flu vaccine available. The supply is great and there are a lot of providers across the state that can give it."

RELATED: Colorado COVID cases declining, but concern over post-holiday spike remains

RELATED: 'This is not sustainable': Nurses at Longmont hospital, exhausted and overwhelmed, call for change


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