Doctors recommend getting flu shot early

Doctors encouraging you to get your flu shot now
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 11:15 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - With the flu season approaching amid the pandemic, doctors are urging you to get your flu vaccine a little earlier this year. This comes as hospitals are already at their max.

Dr. Tiffany Schwasinger-Schmit says if there’s ever a year to get a flu shot, it’s this one. She says it can prevent you from getting sick - and from potentially needing to go to a hospital that may not be able to take you because of high delta variant cases.

“There are some early indications that influenza may be coming earlier than what we have seen before,” said Dr. Schwasinger-Shmidt. “We don’t exactly know why but we want to make sure we are getting that protection.”

It’s as clinics and healthcare providers are encouraging and offering the flu vaccine earlier than normal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting the shot by the end of October, but some facilities are already stocked and ready to put shots in arms.

″Hospaitals are in a very dangerous position. They are at their max now and unfortunately, our numbers are up across the region and across the country. So, you’ve seen many, many stories of people having to go long distances to be able to get their healthcare. This is going to be even worse with influenza,” said Dr. Schwasinger-Shmidt.

Just last year, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported there were only four flu deaths compared to 118 during the previous flu season.

The CDC currently shows Kansas as low risk, but Dr. Schwasinger-Shmidt said that could change.

″Now that we are all back to work again, that’s where we are starting to get worried about this spreading through our community,” she said.

Dr. Schwasinger-Shmidt said it can be extremely hard to tell the difference between the delta variant and the flu. She said both share the same symptoms if you get sick, you should get tested for both and talk with your doctor.

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