MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Have you received your flu shot yet?  The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County is urging residents to get vaccinated against the flu as soon as possible. Many experts are warning of a “twin-demic” with the arrival of flu season during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Getting the flu shot each year is important, but reducing illness and hospitalization from flu is even more critical this year to protect frontline healthcare workers and hospital systems who will continue to care for people with COVID-19 and other illnesses.

Once vaccinated, it takes about two weeks to offer protection.

The flu and COVID-19 are respiratory illnesses, but until there is a steady vaccine supply against COVID-19, the best way to help prevent these two viruses from circulating at the same time is to get your flu vaccine.

Additionally, there will be less spread of the flu and COVID-19 if everyone continues to:

  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly
  • Wear a face covering when around others or if social distancing isn’t possible

The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine by the end of October.

If you’d like to get a flu vaccine, there are numerous places you can go including:

As we enter the cold and flu season, pandemic fatigue is rampant, but now is not the time to let up.

While a flu shot can’t stop a person from getting COVID-19, it can prevent you from contracting both viruses at the same time, safeguarding one’s health and preventing overwhelming healthcare systems.

A patient in Mexico tested positive for COVID-19 and influenza this week, becoming the first case in that country with both viruses simultaneously.