NATIONWIDE – Flu season is approaching, causing grave concerns for America’s health care system while the coronavirus pandemic surges on.

What You Need To Know

  • CDC director expressed concerns on Tuesday

  • Hopes for a successful vaccine confirmed same day

  • Influenza can kill estimated 12,000 to 61,000 Americans each year

  • Flu season expected to start in October, peak in winter months

Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, expressed his concerns on Tuesday about COVID-19 infections and influenza cases expected in the fall.

"I do think the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be probably one of the most difficult times that we've experienced in American public health," Redfield said during a webinar with the Journal of the American Medical Association.

According to Business Insider, flu season in the U.S. usually arrives in October and then peaks from December to February. An estimated 12,000 to 61,000 Americans die of the flu every year, dependent on the success of vaccines and timing. Flu cases could place more strain on hospitals that are already stretched thin by COVID-19.

On the same day Redfield voiced his concerns, confirmation for hopes of a successful vaccine for COVID-19 were confirmed.

The vaccine tested in the U.S. revved up people’s immune systems just the way scientists had hoped, researchers reported Tuesday -- as the shots are poised to begin key final testing.

“No matter how you slice this, this is good news,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, told The Associated Press.

The experimental vaccine, developed by Fauci’s colleagues at the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., will start its most important step around July 27: A 30,000-person study to prove if the shots really are strong enough to protect against the coronavirus.

But as COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout the U.S. and other countries around the world, previous restrictions are being implemented with an emphasis on masks, social distancing staying home away from crowds.

States including Arizona, Florida and Texas have seen record-breaking daily numbers. The virus is responsible for over 130,000 deaths in America and nearly 600,000 worldwide.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.