Flu season amidst pandemic: SC health leaders urging people to get flu shot


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – An urgent push from doctors in South Carolina to get your flu shot and soon. They told 7 News, they’re bracing for a flu season like no other.

It’s a message you’ve likely heard time and time again.

“Everyone over six months of age should get a flu shot,” said South Carolina State Epidemiologist, Dr. Linda Bell.

Except this year, it’s carrying more urgency than ever before.

“We don’t know what flu and COVID would look like together, we can only assume it would be a very severe illness,” said Nurse Practitioner with Bon Secours, Brandi Giles.

Nurse practitioner Brandi Giles with Bon Secours told us it’s not going to be easy deciphering between the flu and COVID-19. That’s why she said, they’re trying to reduce the risk of getting one of those viruses and pushing for people to get their flu shot.

“If you’ve lowered your immune system with the flu, then medical logic would be that you would be at more risk for developing symptoms of COVID or vice versa,” Giles said.

She told us, now is the time to do it to build up immunity.

“We’ll usually typically peak after the first of the year with the flu,” said Giles.

Marshall Smith told us he already got his flu shot.

“I got my flu shot the first week of September,” said Spartanburg Resident, Marshall Smith.

Others told 7 News, they plan on getting one very soon.

7 News: “When are you getting your flu shot?”

“Next week,” said Spartanburg Resident, Rick Webb.

However, some Spartanburg residents told us they don’t have it on their calendars.

“I’ve never had one before so probably not,” said Spartanburg Resident, Tom Seay.

There will be a handful of drive-thru flu vaccine options the weekend of September 26th in the upstate. You can find times and locations below.

Bon Secours will be holding a free drive-thru flu shots clinic Saturday and Sunday at St. Sebastian Church, located at 2300 Old Buncombe Road in Greenville.

Saturday, September 26: 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (or while supplies last)

Sunday, September 27: 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (or while supplies last)

Those drive thru clinics are only offering vaccines for adults, 18 – 64 years of age. They will not be offering it to children, and they will not have the high dose for seniors.

Prisma Health will be offering free COVID-19 testing as well as free flu vaccines on a first-come, first-served basis Saturday. The event will be 8 a.m. – noon at Brookwood Church in Simpsonville.

A spokesperson with Spartanburg Regional told 7 News, they are offering flu vaccinations through its medical group of the Carolina’s primary care offices. Adding, they hope to offer a flu vaccination clinic with community partners later this season.

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