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Here's why doctors are urging flu shots this year

COVID-19 rules are more relaxed, meaning protections against the flu are gone too.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Flu season was nearly non-existent last year, so why are doctors so concerned about you getting a flu shot this year?

Let's connect the dots. 

In 2020, we saw a record-low number of flu cases across the country.  You can chalk that up to a number of safety measures like masks, social distancing, and virtual school. 

Remember the flu is less contagious than COVID-19, so all of that was enough to stop the virus in its tracks.

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But this year is a different story. COVID-19 rules are more relaxed, meaning protections against the flu are gone too.

And there are already some signs that this flu season could be a bad one. Right now doctors are seeing a rare summer spike of RSV in kids. 

The respiratory disease usually doesn't surge until the winter. Public health experts see this as a sign that the flu could do the same. 

So what can you do about it?

It's pretty simple. Doctors say to get your flu shot before Halloween. 

Just like the COVID-19 vaccine, flu shots are not 100% effective, but they do a lot to prevent serious symptoms. And they will also keep you out of already crowded hospitals.

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