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Local doctors say flu vaccination rate is about 50%, encourages more vaccinations

With flu season around the corner, doctors are urging more people to get the flu vaccine.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The flu and COVID-19 are two deadly viruses we'll face this fall and winter. Doctors say the numbers have shown in the past that not enough people are getting vaccinated for the flu.

"I think we should be on alert about getting all of these different viral infections at the same time," says Huntsville Hospital Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Ali Hassoun.

Hassoun says the demand for flu vaccines can be better. "The vaccination rate in the community is about 50 percent not more. I think we're gonna need much better than that this year," he says.

Doctors say it's needed now more than ever as we're still getting through the Coronavirus Pandemic.

"Symptoms of flu are like fever, cough, runny nose. And symptoms of COVID-19 - same as well. So it's really confusing," says Pediatrician Dr. Shraddha Shrestha, MD, with Primary Care Pediatrics & Family Medicine.

Dr. Hassoun says people getting the vaccine can help lessen the burden of the health care system also.

"If we can reduce the flu infection, we'll probably gonna have cut down on hospitalization associated with the flu, and at the same time community wide-spread transmission of the flu," says Hassoun.

Dr. Hassoun says last week he received his supply of flu vaccines. He expects the community to be well-stocked also.

"In general, a lot of these flu vaccines have been pre-ordered than already known to the manufacturing companies to do it. So I don't expect we're going to get any shortage," added Hassoun.

Some places to get vaccinated include your doctor's office or local pharmacy. "There's probably there's going to be more push for it, but flu vaccine in pretty available whether in the hospitals or the communities as well," says Hassoun.

Doctors encourage people to get the flu vaccine sooner, as earlier as this month rather than waiting in November.