Phenix City, AL. – Once fall arrives we all get excited for the cooler temperatures. Unfortunately sweater weather and pumpkin patches come along with flu season. Around this time doctors will also highly recommend getting an updated annual flu shot. Dr. Daryl Ellis with Piedmont Healthcare explains why it’s important people to get a flu shot every single year.

“Every year there’s a new variant of influenza that attacks us around the Fall and early Spring of the following year. So it’s a different strain and it’s a different vaccine each and every year. So it’s important that you get it yearly,” said Dr. Ellis.

Another concern about getting the flu shot is can it actually prevent someone from getting the flu? Well Dr. Ellis clears up the concern about that statement.

“The vaccine can’t prevent you from catching the flu. It can prevent from getting severely ill if you do contract the flu,” said Dr. Ellis.

According to the Mayo Clinic, between the spring of 1918 and 1920 the flu caused more than 550,000 deaths in the United States. It also caused more than 20 million deaths around the world.

“We did lose one-third of the entire world’s population due to the influenza pandemic. Influenza if it’s not kept in check, and if we don’t practice the proper precautions can be deadly. And it spreads very quickly. It spreads very easily. It spreads like wildfire. Once it’s out we don’t have any specific treatments to take care of influenza. We don’t have any for most viral infections to be honest with you. So the best treatment is prevention,” said Dr. Ellis.

The CDC has also recommended people get a COVID-19 booster shot for the upcoming fall and winter seasons. The CDC has also said it’s safe for people to get the flu shot and COVID-19 booster at the same time. However, Dr. Ellis has a different suggestion.

“I personally do not recommend it to my patients. Just the reason being there are side effects potentially for the vaccines. If you get them both at the same time, you develop side effects. You have no idea which on you’re actually reacting to. So I usually recommend that it’s safe to get them both I recommend that you separate them by one to two weeks,” said Dr. Ellis.

Now Dr. Ellis and Piedmont Healthcare assure us there are plenty of flu shots avaliable. You can go to your family doctor, any pharamacy or the Health Department for your flu or COVID-19 vaccines.