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FLU VACCINE: Springfield doctor explains what you need to know this upcoming flu season

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 11:20 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Many providers and pharmacies in the Ozarks began this month offering flu shots.

Doctors say this year’s shot is designed to protect against four different influenza flu viruses. The Food and Drug Administration makes recommendations for the vaccine’s composition based on flu seasons in other parts of the world.

Jordan Valley Community Health Center’s Dr. Matthew Stinson says he has heard some confusion from patients believing they may not need a flu shot because they received the COVID-19 vaccine. He says that’s not true. He says only the flu shot will protect you against the flu.

He recommends the shot again, despite nearly a non-existent flu season last year. He believes masks, social distancing and other precautions kept flu numbers down. That may not become the case this flu season.

Jordan Valley says it performed a total of 2,344 flu tests last season, and found 593 positive cases.

He also believes there may be some hesitancy about getting any shot right now, with the hesitancy around the covid-19 vaccine.

“There was already some hesitancy with the flu vaccine,” said Dr. Stinson. “And again, we get into really difficult areas of, you know, I get the flu vaccine, and I can still get the flu. And that is true. But the point of getting the flu vaccine isn’t about not getting the flu; it’s about not going into the hospital. It’s about not having needing critical care. That’s why we really, even though we push it for all Americans, we really are pushing it for the highest risk.”

If you’re wondering about getting a COVID-19 shot and a flu shot at the same time, Dr. Stinson says he would not have any concerns. He says if you’re going to space them out, get the COVID-19 vaccine first.

More about this season’s flu shots: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2021-2022.htm#what-virus

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