Q&A: Why is it so important to get a flu shot? Medical expert explains

Don’t put off your care -- now more than ever, it’s time to see your doctor

Whether you already receive the flu shot each year or you’re not sure about getting the vaccine, we are getting deeper into flu season during a time when you can contract both the flu and COVID-19.

Dr. John Hollinger with WellMed discusses the importance of staying safe during this unprecedented time by getting a flu shot.

Who should get a flu shot and when?

“The CDC recommends anyone 6 months or older (to) get a flu shot now,” Hollinger said. “It’s especially important for those considered high risk, who are 65 or older, pregnant women, health care providers for those with chronic conditions like cancer, heart disease, asthma or diabetes.”

Is it possible to get the flu and COVID-19?

“Yes, COVID-19 and influenza are two separate viruses," Hollinger said. "It is a double-whammy you want to avoid. And, just because you had a flu shot last year doesn’t mean you can avoid it this year. The flu bug is constantly changing with different strains, so the vaccination is different every season. You must get vaccinated every year.”

What are some other myths about the flu?

“There are several myths, but here are the facts -- you cannot get the flu from the flu shot,” Hollinger said. “The shot helps you build antibodies to fight the flu. Getting a flu shot will not make you more likely to get COVID-19. Any side effects from the vaccine are mild as compared to the actual flu infection. If you don’t get vaccinated, you are more likely to get the flu.”

Where can people get a flu shot?

Contact your local health care provider to see their availability for flu shot appointments.

If you would like to get a flu shot from WellMed, you can call a WellMed clinic to make an appointment. When you arrive, stay in your car and one of the health care professionals will come to give you the vaccine.

The health care provider is also offering drive-through flu-shot clinics in certain locations. To learn more about WellMed, click or tap here.