In the 608: Josh gets his flu shot; why now is the time

MADISON, Wis. — After a nearly non-existent season last year, medical experts warn this fall could not only be bad but confusing.

The flu usually starts spreading in October, peaks between December and February, and lingers as late as May, so that’s why medical experts encourage you to get the flu shot as soon as you can.

The reason this year is expected to be so bad is because we’re closer to normal this year. People are back to work and school, and there are more in-person gatherings and less mask wearing.

“We’ve seen a ton of viruses come during the summer, that usually don’t come up in the summer, that are kidding kids and adults sick,” explained Joana Huibregtse, nurse practitioner at UnityPoint Health-Meriter. “So we’re preparing for that in getting the flu vaccine ahead of the flu season so we don’t get this big uptick in illnesses, and severe ones at that.”

So this shot is separate from the COVID-19 shot. If you haven’t gotten your coronavirus vaccine yet, this is what doctors recommend. Local hospitals will be offering both shots at their clinics this fall. Many local pharmacy chains, like Hy-Vee, are currently offering both shots, too. Pharmacists administer the shots in separate arms.

The same common sense measures can protect against both: frequent hand-washing, mask-wearing, and staying home when sick.