Doctors urge people to go out and get their flu shots now

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- As flu season begins, the medical community is concerned it will bring more stress on the health care system.

There's something doctors say everyone can do to fight that fear: get vaccinated.

"Please, please, please go ahead and get those vaccines when you are eligible," Chief Medical Officer at Froedtert Hospital Dr. Michael Stadler said. 

Doctors are asking people to get vaccinated against both COVID-19 and the flu.

"What worries us is that if we don't continue vaccinating as many people as possible in both those respiratory viruses, both the flu, influenza, as well as coronavirus, we will see upticks in our patients requiring significant amounts of care," Stadler said.

Health care systems are already feeling overrun by the pandemic. There's concern a spike in flu infections will only make it worse.

"There's a certain number of expected hospitalizations we expect will happen every year from influenza," UW Health's Dr. Nasia Safdar said. "So that's on top of what health systems are already facing with COVID."

Hayat Pharmacy is finding more people have interest in the flu shot after dealing with COVID-19.

"People who haven't gotten their flu shot in years are actually coming to the pharmacy to get it just because they don't want to get sick," Pharmacist Dimmy Sokhal said.

Sokhal said it's safe to get vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.

"There's enough data and the CDC did come out with guidance recommending for people to actually be able to get the flu shot and COVID shot together," Sokhal said. "I just got my flu shot and booster together last weekend, and I did just fine."

It's important to remember that the COVID-19 vaccine doesn't protect against the flu, and the flu shot doesn't protect against COVID-19.

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