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Doctors urge patients to get their flu and COVID vaccines now

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 6:58 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UAB hosted a webinar Monday answering questions about flu season and the latest COVID-19 updates.

Doctors said only a handful of flu cases have been reported so far, but flu season will be here soon and they want to make sure you have protection against both the flu and COVID.

Doctors at UAB said cases of COVID-19 in Alabama appear to be coming down.

“Across the state we have still had quite a number of new COVID diagnosis per day…somewhere between 3 and 5,000 new patients diagnosed with COVID-19 every day. The numbers have started to decline very slightly each day with a little bit fewer patients every day who have been newly diagnosed. That has also been reflected in the number of patients hospitalized we have had just a few…fewer people hospitalized each day from COVID-19,” said UAB Infectious Diseases expert Dr. Molly Fleece.

But doctors said the number of patients who have died from COVID-19 has gone up in the past week.

They’re monitoring the situation closely, especially as flu season starts revving up.

“As of last week, we have only seen 4 positive influenza B cases. It is still very early, and we anticipate that these numbers will go up some time this fall and winter and certainly the winter,” Dr. Fleece said.

That’s why doctors said if you have not yet received your flu and COVID-19 vaccines, it’s time to get them now.

“If you haven’t had your COVID vaccine yet and you also need your flu vaccine, we’re especially recommending that you just go ahead and get those at the same time. Based on what we know with other vaccinations, and giving those at the same time, we feel that this is also a safe thing to recommend,” said UAB Family Medicine Specialist Dr. Erin DeLaney.

Ragweed is also a nuisance for allergy sufferers right now, but doctors said it can be difficult to know if you have the flu, COVID, or allergies because those symptoms often mimic each other.

They advise getting tested if you’re not feeling well to avoid potentially spreading COVID or the flu to other people.

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