While the California Department of Public Health reported that influenza numbers statewide for September are considered "minimal," many doctors are encouraging residents to receive the flu shot as soon as possible.
Many doctors are preparing for what they have dubbed a "twindemic." The nickname refers to hospitals dealing with the potential of both flu patients and COVID-19 patients throughout the winter, according to CBS8.
"We always see a peak after holidays, so we’re waiting for the, you know, Labor Day increase to come, but add flu on top of that, I am very worried about beds and staff,” said Dr. Ghazala Sharieff, chief medical officer of acute care and clinical excellence for Scripps Health in San Diego.
According to Sharieff, it's safe to receive the flu shot if you've previously been vaccinated for COVID-19. It's also safe to receive both shots in one go.
"You can actually get both shots at the same time,” Sharieff told CBS8. “We’ve had enough experience with the vaccines now to know. Initially, we were very cautious and we waited two weeks in between one shot and then the other one, and we realized we don’t need to do that anymore.”
The 2020 flu season never reached the severity that doctors expected but Sharieff said this year could be different.
“Last year, we were fortunate in the sense that we didn’t have a large flu outbreak because everybody was wearing their masks."
Many people receive flu shots in late October but doctors recommend getting them as soon as they have the opportunity.