NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — You’ve heard many healthcare officials stress the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine, but with the cold weather approaching, Sentara Healthcare is making sure you have an opportunity to get your flu vaccine too.
Saturday morning, Sentara Healthcare hosted several free drive-thru shot clinics throughout Virginia and Northeast North Carolina.
10 On Your Side attended one at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
“We just want to make sure that we’re doing our part to make sure everyone can get vaccinated,” said Toy Coffey-Perkins, Patient Care Manager at Sentara’s Ambulatory Care Center.
If you’re concerned about getting the COVID vaccine and flu shot around the same time, Coffey-Perkins says it’s okay.
“Individuals can get their flu and covid vaccine at the same time. The CDC has recently updated their guidelines on that, but if individuals feel like they want to break it up, they can still wait the 14 days in between,” said Coffey-Perkins.
With 500 shots in tow, the nurses were busy helping community members fill out forms, get their shot, and goody bag.
Team Coordinator of the Emergency Department for Norfolk General, Rachel Huovinen, says it’s crucial to get the flu shot amid the covid 19 pandemic.
Sentara officials say flu symptoms are very similar to those of COVID-19 and preventing the flu could save lives and help preserve healthcare resources during an already difficult time.
“In our hospitals across the system, the community the emergency departments are busy they’re seeing capacity of covid patients, flu patients, of course, your normal emergency department patients,” said Huovinen.