The latest pandemic has left more than two million Americans without access to basic healthcare, leaving them struggling to find quality care.
Now, the CDC is warning that the lack of access to vaccines could lead to an uptick in the number of infections, and to a potential increase in the overall flu season.
“We’ve seen a lot of anecdotal evidence of people being able to get vaccines early and then getting really sick, so the timing is certainly a concern,” Dr. John Carrigan, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told ABC News on Thursday.
Carrigan said that there is also evidence that vaccines aren’t working as well as hoped, and that there’s a “greater risk” that some of those people might become unvaccinated.
“If you think of the number [of people] who are going to get sick from influenza, you’re going to think that’s not a big deal,” Carrigan added.
“But the numbers we’ve seen over time, if we don’t get vaccinated, then we’re not going to be able to help people get out of that flu pandemic.”
Carrigan noted that the current outbreak is the first time that the CDC has been unable to identify a vaccine that can help everyone in the United States.
The CDC, however, said that the flu vaccine, the Tdap, is a much better choice than the flu shot, and has been used to help thousands of people recover from the pandemics of 2009 and 2013.
“The vaccine is a very good choice, and the Tdcap is a vaccine we’ve used to get very few cases of influenza and we’ve gotten some really good results,” Carigan said.
“So it’s a good choice.”ABC News’ Mark Zuckerman contributed to this report.