NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tennessee is continuing to see an increase in the number of flu cases. The state is now in CDC’s “very high” category. 

Dr. William Schaffner, from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, says they’re continuing to see a gradual increase in flu cases. They are also continuing to see an increase in flu hospitalizations in the past two weeks. Much like COVID-19, Dr. Schaffner says your best defense against the flu is to get vaccinated. 

Dr. Schaffner also spoke about ‘flurona.’ That’s a combination of coronavirus and the flu. Dr. Schaffner says they haven’t diagnosed any cases of flurona just yet. 

Coronavirus and influenza are in different viral families so he says your COVID vaccine will not protect you from the flu. Your flu vaccine won’t protect you against COVID. So, Schaffner says you should be getting vaccinated against both. Studies on flurona are preliminary and ongoing. 

“The vaccine scientists are already trying to figure out how to create a combined influenza and COVID vaccine. That would be great. We would get protected against both kinds of viruses and only have to roll up one sleeve,” Dr. Schaffner said.

Until that happens, Schaffner says your best defense against the flu and COVID is to get vaccinated separately for both. He says to get your COVID booster and flu vaccination at the same time and that the two vaccines at once won’t lead to magnified side effects.