Health officials: Flu shots still necessary even if vaccinated

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 7:21 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Before flu season begins in October, when the weather gets cooler, health officials say people should go ahead and get their flu shots.

While COVID symptoms are similar to flu symptoms, one health official says both viruses are treated differently.

“Sometimes people who have the flu shot do get the flu, but their symptoms are not as nearly severe, and they don’t last as long and that’s what we want,” said Pamela Kirkland at the Columbus Health Department.

With flu season right around the corner, health officials like Kirkland at the West Central Health District, say the public needs to be prepared.

“We have flu shots available at all 16 counties in our district. So if anybody wants a flu shot, they just need to come in and get one,” said Kirkland.

Kirkland stresses the importance of still getting the flu shot even if you’ve gotten both of your COVID shots.

“It’s two different viruses,” said Kirkland. “So you definitely want to get both and flu shots are recommended for anyone six months of age and older.”

However, only those 12 and over are able to get a COVID vaccine. One Columbus resident, who has received both shots of the Moderna vaccine, was able to go ahead and get his flu shot today at a local CVS pharmacy.

“The regular flu shot, I’ve been getting due to some medical issues so, I have to get it,” said Bobby Huff.

While COVID hospitalizations are going down, some health officials say hospitals may start to see more patients again if people don’t get their flu shots.

“It can cause hospitalization and that’s particularly in the very young and the elderly,” said Kirkland. “So we want to make sure those groups have their flu shot, because we don’t want to add to anyone’s illness.”

Still, some Columbus residents are happy to hear statewide COVID numbers have decreased.

“I understand that the vaccination rates have increased. I just hope they continue to increase,” said Huff.

Kirkland says if the number of flu cases begins to rise, the Health Department will post the data they receive from the state.

Copyright 2021 WTVM. All rights reserved.