Doctors urging people to get flu shots because of COVID-19 pandemic

Doctors urging people to get their flu shot

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Despite confirmed cases of the coronavirus coming down, there are still concerns about the stress on Alabama hospitals.

That’s why doctors are urging people in the state to get a flu vaccine this year.

That’s nothing new - folks are encouraged to get a flu shot every year. Some do and some don’t, but this year doctors say it’s important to do all we can to reduce the impact of flu season on top of what we expect to be a continued pandemic with COVID-19.

Various pharmacies say there are flu shots available now. The stronger shots for those 65 and older is more limited right now.

The Jefferson County Health Department is advising people to start thinking about a shot in September and definitely get one by the end of October. The health department usually promotes their flu shots in September.

At this point, no one expects to see the coronavirus to go away. During the flu season, usually people are hospitalized. This year, that could be a problem.

“I heard people say I don’t take the flu shot because I’ve never had the flu before. Well that doesn’t mean you can’t get it, you just haven’t gotten it yet. Take that shot this year and do everything you can to protect yourself and your loved ones,” said Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Health Department.

Willeford said people will not want to go to the hospital in the middle of a pandemic so people should think about getting that shot in a few weeks.

Willeford added in other parts of the world, it looks like a mild flu season so maybe face coverings and social distancing are paying off, but that is not certain to happen here.

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