Pharmacist stresses importance of Flu Vaccine amid COVID-19 pandemic

It’s almost September and the fall season is nearly here. This means flu season is coming. Because symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are so similar it may cause a lot of misconceptions.

Posted: Aug 25, 2020 6:26 PM
Updated: Aug 25, 2020 6:37 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTH) - It’s almost September and the fall season is nearly here. This means flu season is coming. Because symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are so similar it may cause a lot of misconceptions. News 10 spoke with Pharmacist Manager at Vigo Health Pharmacy Alpesh Patel on Tuesday. He explained what you need to know ahead of flu season.

Patel says there are a lot of unknowns still about COVID-19. In contrast, one thing is certain—the seasonal flu is happening.

He says getting a flu vaccine now has more importance now than ever, and you can get them right now for the 2021 flu season. They are available for anyone from six months old to 65 years old. The vaccine for people 65 years and over is not yet available.

He stressed that the flu is a preventable disease. It is possible to get COVID-19 and the flu at the same time, and the effects of this are still unknown.

He says you should still give necessary concern to COVID-19, but you should protect yourself in some way this fall by getting the flu shot.

“Flu shot demand will increase, so we are preparing, getting more of the flu shot, and educating people,” Patel said, “Just because of COVID-19 doesn’t mean that flu season is not going to be there. Every year, thousands of millennials die because of the flu.”

Patel says simply to control what you can control, help yourself out, and get a flu vaccine.

He says because of COVID-19, Vigo Health Pharmacy is changing a lot of their protocols to make sure people feel safe coming in. He says he knows some people are concerned about coming to the pharmacy. They don’t want to put themselves at an unnecessary risk to get COVID-19 or something else.

While giving flu vaccines, pharmacy employees will be wearing PPE and sanitizing everything before and after each patient comes in. Patel says they want to make it as convenient as possible and minimize all concern for customers. He did have some advice for you at home ahead of flu season.

“If you’re healthy, just get it. Don’t wait until you become sick. If you’re sick, go to the doctor, get some medical advice, or call your pharmacist,” Patel concluded, “A lot of things are still unknown with COVID-19, but influenza season is every year. It’s going to be there.”

Patel stressed to only come and get the flu shot if you’re healthy and not if you’re sick.
Again, it is possible to get both COVID-19 and the flu at the same time, and the effects of this are unknown. Patel says it’s imperative to protect yourself in some way and get the flu shot before flu season is in full force.

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