Dedicated Medical Center Holding Flu Clinic at Whataburger

Grant Boone
October 17, 2020

N.C. DHHS started tracking this year's flu season on September 27 with a weekly COVID-19 and flu surveillance report.

Officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Public Health today announced the first reported flu-related death of the 2020-21 flu season, which occurred the first week of October and involved an adult over 65 years of age in the central part of the state. However, getting the vaccine provides benefits even if the flu bug bites you.

Flu vaccinations are available at hospitals, pharmacies, private medical offices, some federally qualified health care centers and local health departments.

The flu shot starts to offer partial protection immediately, but takes about two weeks to offer full protection.

Health officials from across the Bay Area are asking the public to fight the flu by getting the annual vaccination for influenza right now.

Not to mention the confusion factor: The illnesses have such similar early symptoms that people who get the flu may mistakenly think they have COVID-19, said Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious disease specialist at Mayo Clinic. "We know people spend more time indoors during the holidays, which are not too far away".

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Director of the Coastal Health District, Dr. Lawton Davis says it's important to get your flu shot now more than ever because health experts are unsure how the flu will react to COVID-19.

Healthcare workers. Baptist Health requires its employees to have a flu shot unless there are medical or religious reasons why the person can not be vaccinated.

But the flu vaccine is not effective against COVID-19 and those who test positive - whether symptomatic or not - should wait to get a flu shot to prevent spreading the virus, according to the CDC.

A flu shot is especially crucial for people who may be at higher risk for serious complications.

The majority of flu shots on Vancouver Island are available through pharmacists and physicians. They say Montanans need to be proactive to avoid contracting the flu. The vaccine can be given to persons 4-years-old and up. And the flu vaccine isn't flawless but studies show if the vaccinated get sick, they don't get as severely ill.

According to the CDC, it is possible to have COVID and the flu at the same time, and United Kingdom scientists found that having them together significantly increases the risk of death.

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