CHICAGO — The city’s health department is urging Chicagoans to get their flu shots and COVID-19 vaccinations to keep people safe amid fears of a bad flu season.
The Chicago Department of Public Health kicked off its annual flu shot campaign Wednesday to encourage people to get vaccinated. Australia is having a bad flu season, which could mean Chicago will face a bad flu season in the fall and winter, health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a news release.
“This is not the year to skip your flu vaccine,” Arwady said in the news release. “Getting your flu shot — in addition to being up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccines — helps protect from serious illness as we enter the winter months.”
The health department recommends everyone 6 months and older get their flu shot before the end of October.
Health department officials are also urging people to make sure they’re up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations. The city recently got the new bivalent vaccines, which provide people far great protection against the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants that make up more than 99.9 percent of cases in the Chicago area.
Everyone 12 and older is eligible and encouraged to get the new bivalent booster shots. COVID-19 vaccination and booster shots remain free.
It is safe to get flu shots and COVID-19 shots at the same time, and it is encouraged to do so, according to the health department. Some people may experience flu-like symptoms and a sore arm for 48-72 hours after getting either of the shots.
People can get vaccinated at pharmacies — including those within grocery stores — and through health providers. Some people might also be eligible to get COVID-19 vaccination shots through the city’s Protect Chicago at Home program.
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