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Flu shots still a good idea

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Because COVID-19 and the flu have overlapping symptoms, health officials say it's important to be vaccinated for both and take any illness seriously.

"After last year where we didn't have a flu season whatsoever we have to get back to reality that these things do happen and keep encouraging people to get the vaccine in addition to the COVID vaccine as well," said Thomas Haupt, Wisconsin Influenza Surveillance Coordinator for the DHS.

While the effectiveness of this year's flu vaccine won't be known until February, doctors say right now it appears to be doing its job.

"We're optimistic, although we have noticed that some of the vaccine isn't quite the match we wanted it to be but it does provide good protection," Haupt said.

The best way to tell if you have COVID-19 or the flu is to get a test. Depending on where you go, you can get tested for both at once.

"It really depends on what they're offering at the particular facilities. Most clinics will have some kind of a test," Haupt said.

Because no vaccine provides complete protection, cases are still cropping up.

"There are different flu viruses. It's not just one flu virus. The interesting thing about the flu virus is it is constantly changing, constantly evolving," said Doctor Sonal Chandratre, Aspirus Medical Group Regional Medical Director.

As of this week, the DHS reports about 36 percent of Wisconsinites have gotten a flu shot, less than last year. Doctors say all they can do is keep pushing.

"We are taking each day as it comes and we are focusing on today, how to make today better than yesterday," Chandratre said.

You can get your flu and COVID-19 vaccinations at the same time.