Dallas County health officials fear overlapping spikes in flu, COVID-19 cases

We've been repeatedly hearing from health experts and state and local leaders that COVID-19 makes getting a flu shot even more important this year.

One of the largest flu-shot events so far in the area will be held Saturday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

The flu hit people young and old hard in Dallas County last season. Now with COVID-19 still in our community, officials are urging people to get a flu shot now.

As hospitals see a relief from reduced COVID-29 patients and students are back in the classroom across North Texas, health officials are urging everyone to get a flu shot early.

Governor Greg Abbott says he got his shot last week.

“It is the best way to reduce your changes of contracting and spreading the flu,” he said.

A Nurse Practitioner, wears personal protection equipment as she administers a flu vaccination. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

CDC Director Robert Redfield recently told the Journal of the American Medical Association that less than 50% of adults get the flu shot.

To encourage more people to get vaccinated, the CDC ordered 9 million more flu vaccinations.

Dallas County Health Director Dr. Philip Huang fears overlapping spikes in flu and COVID-19 patients could overload the health system.

“This year, it’s even more important to get it early. Get it now,” he urged. “We don't want to have a bad flu season and COVID-19 going on. There’s a lot of concerns about a second wave.”

On Saturday, Kroger, the American Airlines Center and Dallas County Health and Human Services are teaming up to give about 600 flu shots in the silver lot at the arena.

You can only get a flu shot if you make an appointment.

When you go to Kroger.com/flu, type in Dallas as the location. You will see the AAC flu event pop-up.

Dr. Huang says getting a drive-thru flu shot is safer during the pandemic.

“Everyone needs to take advantage of that. Get it now while it’s available,” he said. “Get it now. It does take two weeks for the flu vaccine to kick in also, so get it now.”

The CDC director also says pharmacists can now give flu shots to children ages 3-17.