ROME, N.Y. - Although flu season usually doesn't kick in until the middle of October, you can now get the flu shot at many locations a month before that.
Ashley Bloomquist, Pharmacy manager at the new Hannaford store on West Chestnut Street in Rome, says she is following CDC guidelines and is urging everyone six months and older to get their flu shot especially this year during the COVID-19 pandemic, "I recommend everyone six months and up get the flu shot, with some exceptions. I recommend everyone get it especially with COVID. We want to prevent co-infection. A lot of the symptoms are similar with respiratory issues and it would be very dangerous to have a co-infection, so if you can rule out the flu, it's a lot safer for people this year with everything going on."
The CDC states that getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during this 2020-2021 flu season not only to protect yourself and the people around you from the flu, but to also help reduce the strain on health care systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bloomquist says there is already an uptick in people getting the flu shot, "I think there was an earlier push this year. I have a peer who works in the Albany area and she did 43 shots on Friday. The same day the year before she only did four, so there's definitely more of a push. We're seeing a lot here even, with new patients coming in. We're not super busy yet, but we are seeing an uptick in customers coming in just for their flu shots."