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Doctors say now is the best time to get your flu shot

In 2020, researchers saw a record low number of flu cases, but with COVID restrictions not the same as last year, there's a chance flu cases will be higher.

TEXAS, USA — With flu season fast approaching, doctors are urging people to get their flu shot as soon as possible or at least get it before October ends.

Last year, in 2020, researchers saw a record low number of flu cases--which could be due to less COVID restrictions in place, from social distancing to mask wearing and working from home.

However, since the restrictions have lessened, doctors are thinking there's a chance that this year won't look like last year and cases could be higher.

"Don’t let having one year of low influenza cases make you feel comfortable without getting the vaccine," says Dr. Eric Adkins.

With hospitals already dealing with the increase in COVID patients daily, getting that shot can protect you and keep you out of the hospitals, which could help. 

With 200,000 people getting the flu every year, the CDC recommends everyone over six months old gets the flu shot annually, whether it's the injectable shot or nasal spray.

"Going back towards life as normal, we're going to expect to see some of these viruses increase, but my biggest concern is that our hospitals are becoming less full compared to where they were 3-4 weeks ago, they still have a very large number of COVID patients in there. As we start to approach flu season we start to fill the hospitals up with flu patients as well, we could get right back to having a crisis," says Dr. Sunil Joshi.

Also doctors want people to remember the flu shot is not 100% effective, but it can help prevent and reduce flu symptoms. You should be able to make an appointment for your flu shot at your doctors or local pharmacy.