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Alabamians 6 months and older urged to get flu shot

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 12:27 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2021 at 6:04 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Public Health is encouraging residents to get a flu shot even as the world continues to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to ADPH, those six months and older should get vaccinated for the flu. Those with high risk for flu complications, including people 65 years and older, young children, and people with chronic conditions like asthma or heart disease are especially encouraged. Also, people who care for or live with these high-risk populations should get vaccinated.

”It’s good to get your flu shot in September or by the end of October at the latest in order to be ready for the upcoming flu season,” said Dr. Scott Harris, State Health Officer. “The good news is that this year’s vaccine protects against four different flu strains, so there is added protection.”

Dr. Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, says it is critical to get a flu shot to help prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed by the combination of COVID-19 and the flu.

”Flu season is typically a busy time for hospitals, so just as we’ve pushed for individuals to get vaccinated for COVID-19, we’re strongly encouraging Alabamians to get their flu shot too,” said Williamson. “Last year was an anomaly, and hospitals did not see the usual admissions associated with the flu because of social distancing, mask-wearing and vaccination.”

ADPH says while both the flu and COVID-19 are illnesses caused by a virus, the viruses are different and require separate vaccines.

There are two options for getting a flu vaccination; the traditional shot or the nasal spray vaccine. The type of vaccine one receives depends on factors such as age, health status and relevant allergies including eggs.

Those with questions should visit the CDC website, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.

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