Health officials say now is the time to get a flu shot

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 5:09 PM CST
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - As we head into our second Thanksgiving holiday during a pandemic, health officials say we’re in better shape to enjoy our time with family and friends.

But with COVID-19 still top of mind, we need to think about flu season as well.

Some Heartland health leaders are getting ready for something they have not seen in a while.

“I haven’t seen personally a positive flu case in almost two years,” said Jessica Baine, a nurse practitioner at Shawnee Health Care.

But medical professionals at Shawnee Health Care expect to see flu patients walking through these doors this winter.

“We are fully prepared for it to hit us hard just like respiratory season hit us in July with kids,” said Baine.

She said now is the time to get your flu shot, before the peak season hits.

“Getting the flu vaccine, we know it can’t prevent you from getting the flu, but it can hopefully lessen your symptoms to A, keep you out of the hospital, B from keeping you so miserable and C hopefully from protecting others as well,” she said.

As many of us run last-minute errands before the Thanksgiving holiday, some have already added a flu shot to their to-do list.

Hubert Ferrell said he gets one every year.

“I’m always getting the flu shot, cause I have problems, my primary doctor takes care of all that, so I’m definitely getting the flu shot,” he explained.

Shelia Kirkikis said she’s already got her flu shot.

“I’m afraid everybody’s going to get sick if we don’t get our shots,” she said.

She said it gives her an extra sense of safety.

“I think it’s just a boost to extra protection, so I think everybody should get it, yes I do,” said Kirkikis.

Back at Shawnee Health Care, Baine said all the things we learned during the pandemic can help us during flu season.

“We can apply those to other viruses to and I think that’s appropriate moving forward,” said Baine.

She said these standard practices can also keep you safe.

“Washing our hands, coughing and sneezing into our arm all those general things we teach our kiddos as adults we need to remember those too,” she said. “We can apply those to other viruses to and I think that’s appropriate moving forward.”

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