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Get your flu shot and COVID-19 booster early, health experts say

Doing so may help reduce strain on hospitals and alleviate what looks to be a tough flu season.

DES MOINES, Iowa — With cold weather right around the corner, health experts are anticipating a tough winter for the flu. Many doctors are urging people to get vaccinated as soon as possible. 

John Forbes is the owner of Medicap Pharmacy in Urbandale. Forbes has been very busy recently, administering vaccines for both the flu and the newest COVID-19 variant.

"The prediction from the CDC, we could have a very difficult flu season," Forbes said. "We're seeing more people right now coming in getting their annual flu shot. and we're seeing them getting a little bit earlier." 

Arani Nanavati is one of those people rushing to get her family prepared.

"Whatever protection we can get, especially with the winter coming, there will be definitely more cases of COVID," Nanavati said. "So we want to protect our family as much as we can." 

Forbes isn't the only one seeing a rush of people getting vaccinated.

"We have seen an increase of individuals coming into our health department wanting to the bivalant booster," said Nola Aigner Davis with the Polk County Health Department. "And that is a really great sign because we know again, flu season, cold season, COVID cases are still increasing. "

Aigner Davis expressed how these vaccines are vital, as our health care system continues to feel the strain of the pandemic 

"Our hospitals are still really short staff. I don't think people realize that we can't take care of you effectively if we don't have staff," Aigner Davis said. "The best way for you to keep our hospitals up and running is to stay healthy, and how do you stay healthy? You get your flu shot, you get your booster, if you haven't gotten your COVID-19 vaccine, you get that." 

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