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Alabama pharmacists encourage residents to get flu shot

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 4:23 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s that time of year again. The flu season is here and that means it’s time to consider getting that flu shot.

Jon Poe, a pharmacist for 50 years, is encouraging residents to roll up their sleeve and get the shot.

“My opinion is go ahead and do it now. Why are they sending us this vaccine if they don’t want us to use it? There must be a reason behind that,” said Poe who is the lead pharmacist for Jones Drugs on West Fairview Avenue in Montgomery.

The flu season typically begins in September and runs through March.

The FDA has approved 9 influenza vaccines for 2021. Last year, flu cases plummeted because COVID measures were put in place, such as masking and fewer people out and about. The worst season for the flu in recent memory was the 2017-2018 season; 45 million people became infected in the country, according to the CDC. That same year saw 61,000 die from the virus.

It’s not clear just yet how many doses of the flu vaccine will be distributed this year, but last year the CDC administered more than 193 million doses.

“The CDC’s best guess on what strain of flu is going to be out there, so we’re hoping we hit the the right one,” said Poe, who said he has 100 doses of the flu shot and they’re all ready to be administered right now. And it’s okay to take the flu shot and the COVID shot at the same time.

“This is not a live virus. We are not giving you the flu,” Poe explained. “Years ago, it was the live virus and we actually gave you a mild case of the flu, but that’s not the case anymore.”

With the medicine in hand, pharmacists like Poe are armed with your vaccine.

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