Dr. Nirav Shah of the Maine CDC says, if you haven't had your flu shot yet this year, do it now.

During Tuesday's media briefing, Dr. Shah talked about the importance of flu shots, especially in the current COVID climate. He gave a few reasons why flu shots are even more important this year than in the past:

  • Doctors will be less apt to confuse the nearly identical symptoms of flu and COVID-19.
  • Getting the flu shot early will decrease the chances of getting the flu.
  • Much like wearing a mask protects others from being infected by your germs, getting a flu shot will also protect your loved ones by helping you avoid getting sick.
  • Healthcare resources won't get bogged down by flu patients.
  • It could prevent the scenario in which you have to get a COVID-19 test before returning to work, even though what you had was the flu.
  • It will help lessen the chances of the worst-case scenario of dealing with the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, which could be dangerous or even deadly.

Flu shots won't totally prevent you from getting the flu. But it will greatly lessen the effects, should you get sick, which could be the difference between being sick for a couple days or for a couple weeks. Flu shots are recommended for anyone over the age of 6 months, and especially for senior citizens who are more at risk of complications.

It's easy to get access to a flu shot. Most pharmacies can give you the shot, or you can visit your healthcare provider. Find more information about the latest flu statistics on the Maine flu website.

Keeping yourself and those around you safe from the flu includes what we're already doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Washing hands well and often.
  • Covering your coughs.
  • Staying home when you're sick.
  • Getting a flu shot.

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