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Your Healthy Family: UCHealth primary care doctor urges flu shot ASAP during COVID pandemic

Posted at 9:04 AM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 11:04:07-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Health experts nationally are urging for everyone to get their flu shots early this year and that certainly applies here in southern Colorado.

Dr. Emily Valenta a family medicine doctor with UCHealth Rockrimmon Primary Care says, “This season more than ever before, it's so important to get your flu shot because of the pandemic and increased respiratory illness transmission. It’s never too early to get your flu shot and some people think they want to wait but getting it early is going to protect you going into the fall months. We’re likely to see more transmission of all the respiratory viruses soon and it's more complicated now because of COVID-19 along with it.”

Dr. Valenta also says a flu shot this year will offer you and those around you a level of protection from influenza and it will also act as another layer of reducing your risk of COVID-19. “If you are exposed to influenza and get infected you are more likely to succumb to any other respiratory illnesses because your immune system is compromised. You can get infected with both viruses (influenza and COVID-19) at the same time and that can have an even more serious impact on your health.”

Also, Dr. Valenta stresses that while many of the COVID-19 mitigation measures in place, that doesn't mean you should skip the flu shot. “Masks do help and so does hand-washing to prevent the spread, but there's still a risk of respiratory viruses being transmitting. If you have underlying health conditions then the added protection of the vaccination then is going to protect you that much more.”

And if the thought of going into the doctor’s office is a concern for you during the pandemic Dr. Valenta says you don’t need to worry about that at her practice. “Here at Rockrimmon Primary Care Clinic, we are making it as convenient as possible for patients to come in and get their flu shots by allowing them to schedule an appointment on the portal, or by calling and then once they arrived a nurse will come out to the car and administer the flu shot. That's all they need to do, so it's the easiest it's ever been to get a flu shot this year.”

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