‘Don’t delay’: CDC warns flu shot shortage is possible, Tampa doctor urges patients to get shot ASAP


PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s that time of the year again. As flu season is approaching, a Tampa Bay area pharmacist says now is the time to get a flu shot.

The Centers for Disease Control is warning that there’s a possibility flu shots, as well as supplies accompanying the COVID-19 vaccine, could run out in certain areas of the country.

Dr. Nicolette Mathey is urging her patients to get their flu shots now. In fact, her advice can be summed up in three words.

Do not delay.

But can you get the flu shot and the COVID-19 shot in the same time frame?

We took that question to the experts, and the answer was yes, according to Dr. Nicolette Mathey.

“People do end up in the hospital from flu,” she told 8 On Your Side. “They do die from flu. it can make you very sick. so I hope people take it seriously and get their flu shot this year.”

During the pandemic, Palm Harbor pharmacy has been busier than ever with patients getting tested and vaccinated for COVID-19.

Dr. Mathey says, right now, there’s another vaccine to consider – the flu shot.

But, as the COVID-19 crisis continues, is it safe to mix vaccines?

“At first, the CDC was recommending to separate your flu vaccine from your COVID vaccine,” said Dr. Mathey. “Now, that recommendation is not in place. We have enough data now that we know you can get the COVID shot and flu shot at the same time.”

Another question people are asking – what’s the rush to get the flu shot?

Put simply, supply and demand.

According to the CDC, the demand for the flu shot and the supplies required to administer it may mean that some providers could run out of the shots while waiting for the next shipment.

Experts say the most important thing during this pandemic is to keep yourself and your family healthy by getting the flu shot as soon as you can.

“September and October, that’s the ideal time to get your flu shot,” Dr. Mathey explained. “You want to get them now while pharmacies have them so you can protect yourself throughout the whole season.”

According to Dr. Mathey, most pharmacies and retailers should have flu shots in stock right now, ready to go, as well as the COVID-19 vaccine.

She agrees wholeheartedly with the CDC in urging patients to get both shots during this pandemic.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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