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With flu season underway, now is the time for a flu shot

Health

With flu season underway, now is the time for a flu shot

With COVID-19 continuing to circulate and flu season underway, there’s no better time than now to get a flu shot.
“I urge everyone to get a flu shot as soon as possible,” says Tidelands Health family medicine physician Dr. William Jackson Epperson, medical director of primary care at Tidelands Health. “It’s crucial, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“By getting your shot now, you can benefit all season long.”

Big benefits

Receiving a flu shot makes it less likely that you’ll become ill with the flu and, even if you do, it can help reduce the severity of your symptoms. Overall flu activity was lower than normal last year due to widespread masking, social distancing and other precautions taken to limit spread of COVID-19, but public health experts believe flu activity could increase significantly this year, particularly once the weather gets colder and people start spending more time together indoors.
“The severity of flu seasons is always difficult to predict,” Dr. Epperson says. “What we know for sure, however, is that flu will be circulating and that the flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from the illness and help limit its spread.”

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It is possible to contract both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, which can increase the risk of severe illness. If you become ill, receiving a flu shot can also help simplify your diagnosis because the symptoms of COVID-19 and flu overlap.
Plus, by getting a flu shot, you can help limit the overall spread of the flu in our community and help prevent health care providers from being overwhelmed by a potential surge of flu and COVID-19 cases at the same time this winter.

'Easy and fast'

“Getting a flu shot is easy and fast, and its benefits can be tremendous,” Dr. Epperson says. “By doing so, you can help protect yourself, your family and the community.”
Dr. Epperson says people should try to get a flu shot as soon as possible. It takes about two weeks to become effective, and nearly everyone 6 months of age or older is eligible.
In addition to getting your flu shot, he says, it’s also important to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or get a booster or third dose if you are eligible.

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