March 26, 2020 — The Queens Hospital that is suffering from the worst COVID-19 epidemic in America right now was an extremely aggressive promoter of flu vaccination this winter.
Of course, all hospitals are huge flu shot promoters in the winter.
However I personally know of a person who went to Elmhurst Hospital in January with an injured limb. The individual was an immigrant and was asked a million questions at the hospital – especially pertaining to travel (though the individual has not traveled out of New York in years).
Hospital staff insisted this individual get a flu shot, and told them it was critical in order to “protect” them against the coronavirus.
Just a few weeks after this, reports started to break surrounding a US military study that shows those who got the flu vaccine this season are more likely to have acute illness from the coronavirus. This particular study appears to have been widely read and taken seriously by the powers that be. This is obvious because as the coronavirus crisis worsened in New York, and daily briefings from Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio became the most watched TV in NY, neither of them recommended getting the flu shot. That stuck out like a sore thumb to anyone paying attention. Friends and family of mine – who have far less interest in vaccine controversies than I do – have even noticed and pointed out this anomaly to me. In fact in Britain it was recommended anyone who got the flu shot this season to self quarantine since they had a higher risk of suffering from coronavirus related illnesses.
Millions of New Yorkers have gotten the flu shot, but in recent years poor and immigrant communities have been targeted very aggressively to get the flu vaccine. It is also a fact that many immigrant communities are extremely compliant with both vaccination mandates and recommendations. This is especially true with Hispanic communities and Elmhurst Hospital is located right in the heart of the largest Hispanic immigrant neighborhoods in all of NYC.
Does this reality of aggressive flu shot promotion have a connection to the COVID-19 epidemic we are seeing at Elmhurst Hospital? I don’t know. What I am presenting here is merely my own first hand knowledge of patients recently treated at Elmhurst Hospital combined with a few well-known facts and inference.