Why Getting Your Flu Shot Is Even More Important This Year

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The flu shot has never been more important as the national faces a potential "twin-demic"— COVID-19 and the flu. The flu vaccine is available earlier than usual at Walgreens, and everyone is urged to roll up their sleeves and get one.

"Part of the reason is that the flu and COVID look very similar to each other," said Dr. Ashish Jah, professor of global health at Harvard. "Clinically, they have very, very similar symptoms. And we know that in a typical flu season, the hospitals get full anyway. Throwing COVID on top of that, it could end up being really bad."

Inside Edition's Steve Fabian went to a Walgreens in Manhattan to get a flu shot. It was a simple process: they took his temperature, had him fill out paperwork, then gave him the shot.

Inside Edition's Megan Alexander got her flu shot at Walgreens. 

"I'm a mother to three young kids," Alexander said "I can't afford to get sick. So I'm getting a flu shot here in Nashville." 

In Los Angeles, Inside Edition's Jim Moret also got a flu shot, way earlier than he normally would.

"I'm over 60, putting me in a high risk group for COVID. So to avoid the one-two punch, I'm getting my flu shot now, that will hopefully be one less thing to worry about," Moret said.

Concerns about catching the flu from the shot is completely unfounded.

"You will not get the flu from getting the flu shot," said pharmacist Jamal Downer. "That is not possible."

Manufacturers of the flu vaccine are making millions of extra doses, preparing for a vast number of Americans who want it this year. As for its effectiveness, the Centers for Disease Control says it "reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60%." The CDC recommends a flu shot for everyone 6 months and older. 

"I am hopeful that if we maintain social distancing, wash hands, wear masks, do the things that we know are really helpful for COVID, they'll also help with the flu," Jah said. "Maybe we'll end up getting lucky and having a mild flu season and not doing too badly with COVID."

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