DENVER (KDVR) — As flu season approaches, doctors are hoping those eligible for COVID19 booster shot don’t forget about their flu shot as well this year.
Last year, Colorado’s flu season was significantly easier for medical staff to handle than years prior, with everyone required to wear a mask and stay far apart from each other.
It was a big relief for doctors and nurses who already had a lot on their plates dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year however, medical staff don’t know what to expect. Experts at National Jewish Health tell FOX31, they hope people will get their flu shots as well as their COVID boosters. It can even happen in the same appointment.
“Getting them both together, you may get a low-grade fever and an achy, chill feeling. But they won’t necessarily be worse,” Carrie Horn, chief medical officer of National Jewish. “Both together just means your immune system is working on both of them at the same time. But it shouldn’t be worse.”
Getting your flu shot with your COVID-19 booster shot is even recommended with flu season almost impossible to forecast. Typically, medical experts can look to other countries, such as Australia, for clues as to what our season will bring. COVID-19 protocols are different in those areas, however, which makes it difficult to gather flu data.
“It’s stressful. It’s nice to know what’s coming so you know how to adjust staffing and everything you need to prepare for,” Horn explained. “We are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best, so we will see where we end up.”
Doctors said difficulty forecasting this year’s flu season has not made the flu shot any less effective this year. They hope despite the push for booster, the flu shot isn’t overlooked.
“We are already quite busy. If you have to add our normal flu season or a bad flu season in terms of number of admissions, our resources will be very strained,” said Horn.
National Jewish recommends getting your flu shot in October, so immunity lasts throughout the winter.