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Why local experts say flu shots still matter
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A flu shot is prepared Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, at The Longstreet Clinic in Oakwood. Flu vaccines have arrived locally and the Centers for Disease Control recommends everyone six months and older get vaccinated for the current flu season. - photo by Scott Rogers

Flu season has already begun, and even though COVID-19 is all we can think about, medical experts say it’s still important to get vaccinated against the flu.

Last year, the spread of flu was quite low, according to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and local medical experts are hoping for that trend to continue as people protect themselves against COVID-19. 

“We’re not expecting it to be worse than last year, just because we continue to wear masks and social distancing and following these other measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 that will also help reduce the transmission of the flu virus,” said Dr. Supriya Mannepalli, director of infectious disease medicine at Northeast Georgia Health System.

Dr. Ellen Sanders, a physician at Oakwood’s Longstreet Clinic, said it was especially important for elderly people, aged 65 and older, and very young children to get vaccinated against the flu. 

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This years flu vaccines are ready to be injected at The Longstreet Clinic in Oakwood. - photo by Scott Rogers

You can get shots at some local pharmacies such as McElveen’s Pharmacy on Thompson Bridge Road and Citizens Pharmacy on Atlanta Highway in Flowery Branch. People can also walk into any Longstreet Clinic for a flu shot, Sanders said. 

People may get a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as a flu shot with no ill effects, Mannepalli said. 

Flu season starts roughly near the beginning of September and lasts until the coming spring, Mannepalli said, so it’s important to get vaccinated as soon as possible rather than waiting until later in the winter. 

The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce along with community partners including the Georgia Department of Public Health, Northeast Georgia Health System and Longstreet Clinic are holding a COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot clinic 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 6 at the Gainesville Civic Center. The clinic is open to all residents of Hall County. Both vaccines are free, no ID is required and no appointment is necessary.

Free COVID-19 shots and flu shots

Where: Gainesville Civic Center at 830 Green St NE, Gainesville, GA 30501

When: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 6

Regional events