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With flu season looming on the horizon, drive-thru flu shot clinics open across the Front Range

Posted at 5:19 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 20:38:44-04

DENVER -- The 2020 flu season will likely be in full swing within the month and the number of locations advertising flu shots is on the rise.

In the age of the novel coronavirus pandemic, that flu shot may be more important than ever.

This year, timing is everything.

“I know it’s important to have a shot, especially with COVID,” flu shot recipient Kathy told Denver7.

Kathy is one of a number of people who wanted to come early to the drive-up flu shot clinic at the Safeway located at 6460 E. Yale Ave. Wednesday.

“So is it just pull up in a spot, you’re finished, it’s great,” Kathy said.

“First time we’ve done this,” Safeway Director of Pharmacy Nikki Price said.

Safeway is one of a number stores offering the drive-thru clinics so people have an easy way to get their flu shots this year.

“There’s a number of people who still are quarantined to their homes either because of a medical condition, because they feel anxious, they may be older,” Price said.

Obviously COVID-19 is a big concern and the overlap with the flu is another reason to be cautious.

“We don’t want to overwhelm our healthcare system,” Price added.

“It's not only protective against the influenza virus, they've shown you have 25% less risk of developing other infections, so there is this enhanced immunity,” Dr. Scott Joy of Englewood Primary Care and Swedish Medical Center said. “The maximum protection from influenza vaccine is 4 months."

Which is why doctors say some people may want to wait a few weeks.

“Flu season lasts 'til March or April, you want to be protected in peak time. I’ve been telling patients mid-Septmber to late October,” he added.

But regardless, doctors encourage everyone to be protected, which is why Kathy made the early trip to the drive-thru clinic.

“I want to make sure I got that time to have the vaccine and make sure it takes effect for the flu season,” she said.

Health experts have worried for months about that timing. They also worry about the health impacts for anyone catching both COVID-19 and the flu when one of the viruses already has a vaccine.