Flu season is fast approaching, and with it comes the need for vaccines.
Christelle Ilboudo, MU Health Care infection control and prevention medical director, said in a media availability Thursday that getting the flu vaccine is vital for keeping hospitals from hitting capacity.
“We wouldn’t want to get in a position where we are having a surge in COVID-19 and influenza, which I think was a big driver (of vaccinations) last year,” Ilboudo said.
Ilboudo reminded people that it is not abnormal to get multiple vaccines at one time. She said data has shown there is no risk in getting the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine in tandem.
“We do it all the time in pediatrics. I mean, we give those kids multiple shots, and they do just fine,” she said.
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initially recommended spacing out the shots, studies have since proved there is no risk in getting both simultaneously.
“It is recommended to get all vaccines that you need at the time that you need them, and we have plenty of evidence to show that you can get multiple shots on the same day,” Ilboudo said.
Since many social distancing requirements have been lifted, Ilboudo predicted more flu cases in the community this year.
“There is just expectation that we’re going to have higher rates of influenza this year than we did last year based on that movement and people being more out and about,” Ilboudo said.
MU Health Care will host two drive-thru flu shot vaccination events at South Providence Medical Park in the upcoming weeks. The first event will be held 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with another happening the weekend of Oct. 2.
There are also other options to receive the flu vaccine. Children who are 6 months or older can receive the shot at their pediatrician’s office, and anyone enrolled in Columbia Public Schools can receive their vaccine through MU Health Care for free via the David B. Lichtenstein Foundation.
Columbia residents can also receive their shot at multiple Hy-Vee, Walgreens or CVS locations.
In addition, all those 7 or older can go to a Mizzou Pharmacy location without an appointment. Anyone with established care with an MU Health Care provider can make an appointment to receive a shot as well.
MU will also host several clinics specifically for college students.