Medical experts say flu shot “more important than ever before” this year

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 10:58 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - It’s about that time of year to start making plans to get a flu shots. Local medical experts say between the pandemic and flu season, it’s more important this year than ever before to get one.

“I think it is going to be a difficult season," Christina Bowers, APRN and Family Nurse Practitioner at Chi Health St. Francis, told Local4 News. "It’s very important for people to get the flu shots and protect themselves, wear a mask, hand hygiene, anything they can to try to prevent the spread of all deadly viruses.”

If people vaccinate themselves against at least one of the deadly viruses, it can help prevent hospitals from being overloaded.

The helpful part of the pandemic is that preventing COVID-19 and preventing the flu are pretty similar. Wearing mask, social distance and extra cleaning can help prevent the spread of both illnesses.

Younger people often choose to not get one, but are encouraged to reconsider this year.

“Even though you may be a young, healthy person who would get influenza, have a mild illness for a week and be fine, you’re are shedding virus and infecting others at the time," Bowers said. "So if you can get a flu shot as a young healthy person, it’s important for you to do that so that you’re not unknowingly getting someone that would not make it through the influenza infection.”

A common reason people chose to opt out is they fear they may get the illness from the vaccine. Bowers said the idea that can happen is a total myth.

“What happens is your body does what it’s supposed to and it ramps up your immune system and starts creating the antibodies against the strains you were vaccinated against," she said. "As with any time our body is reacting and creating antibodies, you can feel some symptoms of that - fatigue, fever, body aches.”

There are many places you can get a flu shot including your own doctor, CVS or Walgreens.

CHI Health wants to make sure the vaccine is accessible by everyone. They will host a drive thru flu shot event on October 10th at clinics in Grand Island and Kearney. That will happen from 9 a.m. to noon at both locations.

Copyright 2020 KSNB. All rights reserved.

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