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NC health leaders pushing flu shots to relieve overloaded hospitals

Officials are concerned about potentially overwhelming our hospital systems.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte leaders are asking everyone to get their flu shot this year as COVID-19 cases are still spreading, out of fear that a potential "twindemic" could overwhelm hospital systems.

Last year saw fewer flu cases thanks to lockdowns, remote school and work, as well as extra precautions people were taking to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Health experts say the flu shot is important this year because we weren't as exposed to the virus and didn't build up immunity. 

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North Carolina health officials are also concerned people are letting their guard down due to COVID-19 fatigue. More people are out and normalizing behavior, which could lead to an increase in new cases. 

So who should get the flu vaccine?

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The CDC says everyone 6 months of age and older should get the shot, especially young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.

Officials say the best time to get the shot is in October so the vaccine has enough time to kick in before flu becomes widespread. 

 To help families have more convenient and safe options for everyone to get their flu vaccine together this year, Atrium Health will be holding drive-up vaccine clinics at 30+ primary care practice locations on Saturday, Oct. 9. Individuals of all ages, from six months through adulthood, are eligible to be vaccinated.

Click here for a list of participating office locations and addresses. All locations will be offering drive-up flu vaccines 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Contact Richard DeVayne at rdevayne@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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