LAFOLLETTE, TN. (WLAF)- With COVID-19 overwhelming the healthcare system, people are being encouraged to take a flu shot now.

“We want to minimize exposure,” said Shaun Lynch, a pharmacist at Terry’s Pharmacy.  COVID-19 and the flu present the same so by being immunized against the flu, professionals are hoping getting immunized  will reduce traffic in physicians’ offices and hospital emergency rooms. “We want to minimize all the traffic we can,” Lynch said,

Typically, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends people start taking the flu shot in October. Due to COVID-19 it now recommends taking the shot in September. Flu season generally runs from October to around April, Lynch said. However, with the pandemic an expected increase in the demand for shots is prompting healthcare providers to encourage patients to go ahead and take the shot.

The same demographic that is at high risk for COVID-19 is also at risk for the flu. “There is no reason to wait to take the shot,” he said.

Most insurances, as well as Medicare, will cover the shot, Lynch said.

Terry’s began administering the shots this month.  No appointment is needed with shots given at both Terry’s locations; LaFollette and Jacksboro. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED- 09/11/2020- 6AM)