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Alabama Department of Public Health urges people to get flu vaccine

They say it's more important than ever to get the flu shot due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — The Alabama Department of Public Health has teamed up with the Alabama Hospital Association and the Medical Association of the State of Alabama to urge Alabamians to get the flu vaccine this year.

The organizations said it's more important than ever to get the flu shot due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Yearly influenza vaccination of all persons 6 months of age and older is the best way to protect yourself and your family from potentially serious complications,” said State Health Officer  Dr. Scott Harris. “Sadly, last year only half of Americans got the vaccination, and more than 400,000 were hospitalized for the flu. Getting vaccinated is easy and can lower the risk of the flu, doctors’ visits, hospitalization and even death. The vaccine also reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke among high-risk groups.”

In addition to urging people to get the vaccine, the organizations are also working to dispel popular myths.

“One of the myths is that healthy people don’t need the flu vaccine,” said Medical Association President Dr. John Meigs. “While the highest risk is for those with underlying conditions, we’ve lost thousands of healthy adults and children each year to flu, so that’s a myth we need to address right away.”

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The groups said getting the vaccine can help to distinguish whether a person has the flu or the coronavirus since they share similar symptoms.

The organizations said the vaccine is especially important for health care workers and those who care for people at a higher risk.

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