Augusta, GA (WJBF)- Flu season is upon us. With the pandemic still going on, there is a great deal of concern from medical professionals about overcrowding in the hospitals.
Doctors are strongly urging people to get their flu shots as soon as possible. They say the more people that get vaccinated, the better chance hospitals have of keeping up with both flu and COVID patients in the coming months.
Dr. Bozeman Sherwood is the Medical Director of Primary and Prompt care at University Hospital. He explained how this flu season could be disasterous.
“It really stresses our healthcare system when you’ve got flu you’re dealing with and flu complications. And now we’ve already been dealing with COVOD and COVID complications since early March, late February. It would just really tax and stress our healthcare system. We don’t want that to happen either.”
Flu shots are readily available to the public. One man says his family have all had theirs.
“We do this every year and yes it was a no brainer to me, especially this year with Coronavirus. It’s gonna help protect those who are vulnerable. It’s gonna take a burden off our hospital staffs. And our family made a day of it,” said Dennis Briatico.
Overcrowding in hospitals is not the only concern this flu season.
“What you do not want to have is a flu epidemic in the middle of a pandemic. That’s the worst thing that could happen. So it’s very important that we prevent the flu from spreading, it’s extremely important. You sure don’t want to have, you as a person or anyone does not want to have the flu and COVID at the same time. That is in fact possible,” explained Dr. Sherwood.
There are things people can do to protect themselves and prevent the spread of the flu.
“Three things we’re always talking about is wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance. And that’s still true. The three W’s. That’s very important,” he said.
There are flu clinics all over the CSRA so people shouldn’t have difficulty finding a place to go. Many places accept insurance but are also free to those who do not have it.
Rebecca Kershner is Women’s Health Coordinator at East Central Health District. They are holding drive through flu clinics all over the CSRA in the coming weeks.
“We’re going to have these events throughout. All of our Drive Through Flu’s, We will be doing this throughout our district, which is comprised of 13 counties.,” said Kershner. “And we will have another event next Wednesday afternoon in Richmond County at our North Leg location. But this weekend please come out and get your flu shot. It is so important this year.”
The Drive Through Flu Vaccine Clinic will be held Saturday from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. at Columbia Middle School and from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. at Greenbrier High.