Doctors urge vaccination for the flu as virus and COVID-19 are likely to spread this season
Doctors are saying there's another reason to roll up your sleeves and get a shot, as the flu season could be a particularly bad one this year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will spread in the fall and winter.
The federal health agency says relaxed COVID protocols like not wearing masks, may result in an increase in the flu this season.
"We've been giving out a lot of shots," says Michael Melone, owner of Vanco Pharmacy in Commack. He says so many people came in for the flu vaccine in 2020 that they ran out.
Melone ordered more for this season.
"This year we have a lot of people requesting flu shots, because they don't want to mix the symptoms of COVID and flu and they want to know that they're protected against the flu," Melone says.
According to the CDC, one can become infected with a flu virus and COVID-19 at the same time. And since the symptoms are similar, one may need to get tested to know which one is making them sick.
And the CDC says September and October are generally good times to get a flu shot. Ideally, everyone should be vaccinated by the end of October.
"We'd like to see everybody get it so that we don't we don't have a flu epidemic, you know on top of what's going on with the COVID," Melone says.
With COVID-19 booster shots now becoming available one can get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time during the same visit, according to the CDC. But one should follow the vaccine schedule for both, so talking to a doctor, pharmacist or health care professional about any concerns ahead of getting the vaccines is recommended.