I fell upon a statistic I found shocking and I want to share this. First of all, Rowan University has over a hundred cases of seasonal flu so far which is a harbinger of things to come according to health officials. They say flu season has already begun in New Jersey. While the number of cases is low that’s because this year’s flu season is just getting out of the gate.

Officials say to expect far more flu cases than we experienced last year when virtually everyone was still under orders to wear a mask in public due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Anecdotally I’m seeing far more people in stores not wearing a mask than wearing one so that prediction makes sense.

Now I understand we in New Jersey have been affected by this pandemic since March of 2020. It’s been a year and eight months. We are burned out on even thinking about it.

So I could see with people’s hesitancy on getting a Covid-19 vaccine that the number of people agreeing to a simple flu shot might be down this season. Folks might just want a breather from all things medical even if it’s not in their better interest.

However healthline.com ran this story and I was amazed to learn that in the 2018/2019 flu season only 32.4% of New Jerseyans got a flu shot. That was the lowest vaccination rate in the whole country. Even Florida and Texas, states that have largely shunned science during the pandemic, had flu vaccination rates of 37.6% and 43.2% respectively. Even Mississippi, usually last in everything, beat New Jersey with a rate of 39.9%.

New Jersey. The state that embraced Covid-19 protocols and safeguards and gave Gov. Murphy high marks for all the restrictions had the lowest flu vaccination rate in the nation. The same state that has one of the higher Covid-19 vaccination rates. Yet we have the densest population in the country with us living on top of each other and theoretically spreading contagions much more easily.

Dead last.

And this was a year BEFORE the pandemic would start chipping away at people’s faith in medicine and science. With a track record like that will even fewer people roll up a sleeve this flu season?

I would have to bet yes.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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