Upstate doctors urge people to get flu vaccines

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–It’s being called the Twindemic by some health care experts. That’s when flu season will come amid the coronavirus pandemic. DHEC reports South Carolina has already seen it’s first flu related death. Local doctors say this is the most important year ever to get your flu shot.

For some people, getting a flu shot is a yearly task.

“I always get a flu shot every year,” Karen Roth said.

Others, choose not to.

“No, I normally do not get it, but I have gotten it maybe twice in my life. And I’m not going to get it again,” Arlette Stroeh said.

For Bill Shockley and his 11-year-old daughter Audrey, the coronavirus pandemic has made getting their flu shots a no brainer this year.

“I do think it’s more important, I can’t tell you why exactly I can’t tell you medically. But I do think it’s better not to have the flu, especially with COVID,” Shockley said.

“It’s better that we take precaution towards the flu also, because that can add on to deaths of COVID,” Audrey said.

Local doctors agree.

“Its probably the most important year ever to get a flu shot,” Dr. Marcus Blackstone at Bon Secours St. Francis said.

He said getting your flu shot doesn’t protect against the coronavirus, but it can keep you healthier.

“So the flu vaccine doesn’t do anything with COVID, and visa versa. But if you get the two together, which you could very easily do, that’s a bad situation to be in,” Blackstone said.

As far as symptoms go, Blackstone said the two can be hard to tell apart sometimes. He suggests a simple solution.

“It’s really hard to tell which one is which, so ideally if somebody feels sick, they need to stay home,” he said.

His main concern moving forward is bed capacity. Along with confirmed cases on the rise, Blackstone says hospital beds are slowly filling up across the upstate.

“Its the coming together of both of them that could create a very significant bed situation for all of us in the upstate, because we’re all in the same spot,” he said.

The CDC estimates there were between 24,000 and 62,000 flu related deaths last year nationwide. There have been more than 250,000 coronavirus deaths in the united states since the pandemic started.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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