SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – With the full-court press to get more people vaccinated for COVID-19, a reminder that flu season is just around the corner and the flu vaccine is already available at neighborhood pharmacies. 

“It both prevents getting the flu and if you do get it and even if you do get it the case you get maybe more mild,” Dr. Darvin Scott Smith said. 

Dr. Darvin Scott Smith, Kaiser Redwood City’s Chief of Infectious Disease says while there has yet to be an outbreak in California, everyone aged 6-months and older should get the vaccine as soon as they can.

He says there should be no fear its effectiveness will run out before the end of flu season.

“Your flu shot doesn’t suddenly expire at 6 months. It will give you immunity and as soon as you get it 2 weeks later you have some good immunity and that does last even beyond the flu season,” Dr. Smith said.

Dr. Smith also says those due for a COVID vaccine can get both at the same time. 

“It was the case we had to separate a COVID vaccine from any other vaccine now the recommendation is to do them together or if needed two weeks before or after the COVID vaccine it doesn’t matter,” Dr. Smith said.

In addition to the vaccine, there are other measures you can take to protect yourself. 

“We learned from last year since we had so few cases of flu that the same precautions, we took for COVID, social distancing masking, handwashing and so on really diminish flu so if we do the same or stay home from work if we are ill that would go a long way in diminishing the flu in the community in general,” Dr. Smith said.

The key takeaway from doctors is to get your flu shot now before there’s an outbreak.