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Here’s when you should get your flu vaccine, according to one doctor

When should you get a flu vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic? A doctor says it’s sooner than you think

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Stock of the flu vaccine at Rite Aid Pharmacy in Murray Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012.

Stock of the flu vaccine at Rite Aid Pharmacy in Murray is pictured on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Public health officials suggested recently that all Americans to get their flu shot in order to keep themselves safe as the pandemic heads toward fall. But when should you get it?

Dr. Miriam Alexander, with LifeBridge Health, recently told WBAL-TV 11 that October might be the best month for a flu vaccine since the flu strains often last for six months — from October to March.

  • “The reason for that is the flu shot seems to only work for about six months and we always have quite a lot of flu in our communities in March. We want to make sure people are protected against the flu in March.”

Alexander said there should be increased urgency from Americans to say safe from the flu in 2020 because of the novel coronavirus.

  • “There should be an extra level of urgency that we and all of our friends and loved ones get the flu shot.”
  • “We don’t want to confuse the picture when we as a medical community are trying to figure out what’s going on with people. If they know they’ve had the flu shot, then we will think more COVID than we will flu.”

A bleak fall:

The combination of the common cold, the flu and the novel coronavirus could create a rather difficult fall season for the United States, according to Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • “For your country right now and for the war that we’re in against COVID-19, I’m asking you to do four simple things: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands and be smart about crowds.”
  • “I’m not asking some of America to do it. We all gotta do it.”

Health officials said that Labor Day weekend will set the course for the fall since an uptick in cases related to the weekend would hit at the end of September, leading into fall.

Dr. William Schaffner, Vanderbilt University infectious disease specialist, told CNBC that the weekend could be an “accelerator weekend.”

  • “This is another holiday and we will see what the general population does, how careful they are or how carefree they are. I have a fair amount of trepidation, frankly, because it looks as though a very substantial portion of our population wants to be out and about very freely in groups, without masks, not paying attention to social distancing.”