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Omaha-area doctors encourage flu shot amid coronavirus pandemic

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 5:36 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha-metro doctors are emphasizing the importance of a flu shot this year during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hospitals report fewer than 50 available ICU beds and with the flu season approaching, that is not what doctors want to see.

“Every year we recommend the flu shot because it protects against Influenza which we know spikes in the wintertime,” said Dr. Erika Rothgeb, family medicine, Think Whole Person Healthcare.

However, this year is significantly different. With a two-year pandemic stretch looming, medical experts say there are still too many unknowns when it comes to COVID-19.

“We don’t really know what can happen in the future but we know what’s gonna happen now and we have the resources to prevent it,” said Keely Petrzilka, a medical assistant at Think Whole Person Healthcare.

This is simply one of the reasons why Think Whole Person Healthcare added a flu clinic to its long list of services.

“This is a critical time for us to protect ourselves and to save the hospital beds for things that we can’t predict or plan for like heart attacks and car accidents,” said Dr. Rothgeb.

In an effort to keep hospital beds empty, Think Whole Person Healthcare urges everyone to get the vaccine as soon as possible.

“Another myth is that if you got the flu shot previously you don’t need it, but you definitely do because it protects you better from other strains of flu in the future,” said Dr. Rothgeb.

One woman claims it took her just five minutes from the moment she walked through the door. She did the paperwork, got the shot, and earned herself peace of mind. She also said for kids who can’t get the COVID-19 shot, getting the flu shot is the least she can do to protect them this flu season.

As frontline workers in the metro care for seven children battling the coronavirus and the nearly 200 others hospitalized with the disease, this doctor hopes you’ll believe them when they say getting a flu shot is one of the biggest ways you can contribute to public safety.

“We are here to take care of you no matter how sick you are, but we also need to help take care of ourselves so that we can continue our jobs,” said Dr. Rothgeb.

Think Whole Person Healthcare’s walk-in flu clinic is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is located on the first floor and they say most insurance is accepted.

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