SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus are taking place, doctors say protecting yourself from influenza should also be on your mind.
With concerns surrounding the coronavirus, Lewis Drug pharmacist Courtney Feist says it’s important to remember it’s also influenza season.
“We’re definitely still seeing influenza activity so patients who haven’t received the vaccine can still be vaccinated,” Courtney Feist said.
Christopher Romano says he received his flu vaccine about 5 months ago.
“It’s recommended by the CDC and you know it helps with herd immunity, it protects the rest of the population and I’ve noticed myself I get less sick in general when I get it,” Romano said.
If you haven’t received your influenza vaccine, Feist says you still have time.
“All of our Lewis locations should have some vaccine in stock. Definitely would recommend calling ahead to your particular location though because that could obviously change from day to day,” Feist said.
With social distancing on everyone’s minds she says scheduling an appointment can help limit wait time inside the store, keeping both patients, and staff safe.
“We also want to be able to screen them for any symptoms just like we would when they come in any day to get a vaccine. We have that checklist of what we want to make sure, you know, they haven’t been exposed,” Feist said.
The checklist includes questions like have you had a serious reaction to the vaccine and if you’re currently sick.
While the flu vaccine won’t shield you from COVID-19, the CDC says it has been shown to reduce the risk flu associated hospitalizations by 40 to 60 percent.
“Flu activity is still high, so I mean if you haven’t gotten it the CDC generally says obviously get it in October if you can, but we can give it into January and beyond as long as the viral activity is still high,” Feist said.
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