▶️ Health officials recommend flu shots in addition to COVID vaccine, booster

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Thinking about getting your COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot?

Health officials say you might as well get your flu shot while you’re there.

“I’m encouraging all of my patients to access the flu vaccine as soon as they can,” said Chief Health Officer for Mosaic Medical, Jessica Leblanc.

Leblanc says the flu shot is safe to combine with the COVID-19 vaccine.

“There’s no problem at all in getting those together,” said Leblanc.

In fact, getting both vaccines is even better for the upcoming cold and flu season.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there were far fewer flu cases, hospitalizations, and deaths last year than in normal flu seasons.

The suspected causes of the dip is COVID precautions such as wearing masks and a record number of influenza vaccine doses.

“It’s really important to take that step to protect yourself, it’s the best tool we have,” said Morgan Emerson of Deschutes County Public Health.

For those wondering if you can contract COVID-19 and this year’s version of the flu at the same time; the answer is yes.

“Both of the viruses impact the respiratory system. so um we’ve had cases where people will test positive for both,” Leblanc said.

Central Oregon Daily News stopped by several pharmacies around the Bend area to ask if they had flu vaccines.

Every one of them said they’re stocked and waiting for walk-ins.

Getting back to normal includes getting a COVID-19 shot, and preventing a trip to already overloaded hospitals.

“And with the increased burden of COVID-19 on our hospital and medical system… keeping our flu cases down is important this year,” Emerson said.

The CDC says it takes about two weeks after vaccination for us to develop antibodies for the flu, and that everyone should be vaccinated against the flu by the end of October.

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