LUBBOCK, Texas — Just as the nation tries to catch its breath from the pandemic, doctors are urging people to brace for yet another illness resurfacing this fall, but this time a familiar one: the flu.
“What’s going to happen with the flu, I don’t know. That’s what we’re afraid of. We don’t know what the final consequences are. All we do know is that people are going to get sicker,” Dr. Juan Fitz, an ER physician at Covenant Medical Center, said.
Doctors like Fitz said that now more than ever is the time to get your flu shot and even the pneumonia shot if you have lung issues. In a fall filled with both COVID-19 and now the seasonal influenza virus, doctors emphasized that this flu shot could be the most important flu shot you ever get.
While Lubbock hasn’t seen cases of the flu yet, experts added that it’s important to get ahead of the virus and get your flu vaccine now before cases start popping up come the start of flu season in late September.
“Everybody has to get their shots … We need to vaccinate our kids. We need to vaccinate ourselves, especially those in the health care industry. We have to vaccinate against the flu and the pneumonia,” Fitz said.
Fitz said that people of all ages from kids to their grandparents need to get the vaccine. Getting the flu can make you more susceptible to catching COVID-19, and the last thing you want is to get both simultaneously.
“Get your flu shot. We don’t want you to get both diseases at the same time,” Dr. Ron Cook, a family medicine doctor, said during a city-wide virtual press conference Wednesday.
Fitz added that doctors are already overwhelmed caring for coronavirus patients who will still fill hospital beds they won’t have for future flu patients.
Until they start seeing local cases, doctors also urged people to “stay safe and cover your face” and “protect ourselves” with flu shots. They said it’s a safe and simple way to protect you and your loved ones during both the pending flu season and the pandemic.
“Wash your hands as often as you can. Try not to touch your face, your nose as much. Do wear the mask as much as possible. It’s not only for yourself but for others as well,” Fitz said.
You can get flu shots at your local pharmacy, and the United Supermarkets on Frankford, Indiana, 4th Street and 98th Street are offering drive-thru flu shots from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Starting now, you can also get your flu shots at Walmarts nationwide.