Health officials encourage flu vaccinations

Flu Shots

By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Kyrsten Eller

As Alabama and the rest of the world continue to deal with the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, health authorities are emphasizing the importance of getting the flu vaccination.

Statewide organizations, such as Alabama Department of Public Health, the Alabama Hospital Association and the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, are urging Alabamians to get their flu shots even if they already have the COVID-19 vaccine. The flu is a very different virus than COVID-19 and want to remind people of the importance of both.

“It’s good to get your flu shot in September or by the end of October at the latest in order to be ready for the upcoming flu season,” said Dr. Scott Harris, state health officer. “The good news is that this year’s vaccine protects against four different flu strains, so there is added protection.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also recommending that anyone 6 months and older to get vaccinated for the flu, especially if they are at high risk.

High-risk individuals are considered those 65 years of age and older, young children and those with chronic conditions.

“Flu season is typically a busy time for hospitals, so just as we’ve pushed for individuals to get vaccinated for COVID-19, we’re strongly encouraging Alabamians to get their flu shot too,” said Dr. Don Williamson, president of ALAHA. “Last year was an anomaly and hospitals did not see the usual admissions associated with the flu because of social distancing, mask-wearing and vaccination.”

There will be two options to choose from while getting the flu vaccination, either through a traditional shot or a nasal spray. Age, health status and allergies are all factors depending on which option is best for you.

Individuals are able to get flu vaccinations now from their healthcare provider or retail pharmacies. For further information on this, visit online here.

If you have any questions or concerns, click here.

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