Carilion Clinic urges the community to get their flu shots early this year

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ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Every year during the month of October is when the first signs of the flu season start showing up. This year’s flu season will be mostly the same, yet the big difference is we’re still under a COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year we also have COVID or COVID-19 in our midst a pandemic and two respiratory illnesses similar sort of symptoms, our hope is people don’t get infected both, and so making sure that at least what we have protections for and vaccines for, people who can get it should try and get it as quickly as possible.”

Dr. Anthony Baffoe-Bonnie – Medical Director for Infection Prevention and Control – Carilion Clinic

Dr. Anthony Baffoe-Bonnie says getting your flu shot early will help you prepare for the upcoming flu season, as well as relieve any strain on local hospitals and clinics that a second respiratory illness could bring.

With all of the COVID-19 pandemic precautions still being taken like social distancing, hand washing, and the wearing of masks, it’s hoped that our flu season here in the northern hemisphere will mirror that of the southern hemisphere.

“We have seen a lower activity of influenza in the southern hemisphere. That is reassuring some, but we don’t have to think that’s necessarily going to happen here, we can’t use that to predict. I hope that that is what happens here as well.”

Dr. Anthony Baffoe-Bonnie – Medical Director for Infection Prevention and Control – Carilion Clinic

Flu shots are now available at Carilion Family and Community Medicine practices VelocityCare sites as well as Carilion Pharmacies. Carilion Clinic is also having Free Community Flu Clinics. Twenty clinics have been scheduled, and you can find more information on clinics in your area by clicking here.

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