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Flu Vaccines Still Important During The Pandemic

A hand giving someone a shot in the arm.
National Institutes of Health
The flu vaccine is available at doctors offices and pharmacies.

Everyone’s talking about COVID-19, but that doesn’t meant you can forget about the flu. Doctors are reminding people to get their flu shot this season.

Doctor Eric Graham, with Heartland Regional Medical Center, said the symptoms of COVID and flu are very similar. He said that while most people’s attention is focused on COVID-19, people should remember the flu is also a very serious illness.

“I’ve seen some of these influenza viruses, H1N1 especially, it’s a very serious bug and I’ve seen that take down young, healthy adults,” Graham said.

Graham said while hospitals are well-prepared to deal with flu patients, it’s still better to get vaccinated to avoid getting sick. That’s especially true this year, when hospitals could be dealing with COVID and flu spreading at the same time.

Many of the practices meant to help prevent spreading COVID, like hand-washing and wearing a mask, can also help prevent the flu from spreading.