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CVS Health preparing for flu season amid COVID-19 pandemic

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 4:35 PM CDT
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INDIANA (WFIE) - With many Americans focused on coronavirus vaccines, health leaders are also reminding people to not forget about annual flu shots.

It may only be September, but officials with CVS Health say flu season is right around the corner.

[READ MORE: Now is time for flu shots, CDC says]

Dr. Michelle Del Busto is a pharmacy manager with CVS Health. She says it’s not too early to get your shot.

“The vaccine changes slightly, just like the virus does.,” says Dr. Del Busto. “Just because you got one last year does not mean you are protected this year.”

Also, this year is the threat of contracting the flu on top of the coronavirus. It’s a concern that Dr. Del Busto says actually helped flu season in 2020.

“We did probably twice as many flu vaccines in our stores than we did the year before,” says Dr. Del Busto.

As a reminder, a COVID-19 vaccine does not protect you from the flu and vice versa.

“They are two different things,” says Dr. Del Busto. “You really need two vaccinations – one for COVID and one for flu, and you can get them at the same time.”

Dr. Del Busto says anyone six months and older should get a flu shot. She says it will be even more important this year, compared to 2020.

“Last year, we had the lockdowns at the time we were giving flu vaccines,” says Dr. Del Busto. “We had people who were wearing masks, social distancing, really getting the hang of washing our hands all the time. Well now, we have a little bit of that mask fatigue. We don’t have the lockdowns.”

To make things easier, CVS Health is offering flu shots by appointment or by walking in.

This comes as Dr. Del Busto says 76% of Americans live within five miles of a CVS location.

“So it really, truly is the best way to protect yourself the best way to protect your community,” says Dr. Del Busto.

The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention recommends people get a flu shot before the end of October, because it takes about 10 to 14 days to build up immunity against the virus.

To schedule an appointment visit CVS.com or text “FLU” to 287-898. You can also schedule an appointment on the CVS mobile app.

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