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American Heart Association News: How to Keep 'Vaccine Fatigue' From Getting in the Way of a Flu Shot

American Heart Association News recently interviewed Cedars-Sinai cardiologist Martha Gulati, MD, director of Preventive Cardiology at the Smidt Heart Institute, about the importance of getting a flu shot as soon as possible this year in anticipation of a potentially severe flu season.

In Australia―where winter is nearly over―not only was flu season bad, it also came early, Gulati told American Heart Association News. What happens there often indicates what’s in store for the U.S.

“That’s why I’m specifically encouraging people to get their flu shot as early as possible,” said Gulati, who also is associate director of the Preventive and Rehabilitative Cardiac Center at the Smidt Heart Institute and associate director of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center in the Department of Cardiology.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many people in the U.S. ignored advice from public health experts to get the flu shot due to misinformation about vaccine safety, inconvenience or a general feeling that the flu isn’t “that bad.”

Gulati said that healthcare professionals should do more to promote the flu vaccine to their patients because influenza can worsen chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and congestive heart failure. “How lucky are we to live in an era where we have so much modern medicine and technology that has helped protect us?” Gulati told American Heart Association News.

She encourages her patients to get vaccinated even if it’s later in the season (September and October are the best months to get the shot). Gulati dispels the myth that the flu shot can give people the flu and reassures patients that any side effects are generally mild and resolve on their own.

For those who might be tired of hearing about vaccines and viruses after nearly three years of the pandemic, Gulati offered a sobering warning: “I see the sickest people, when they don’t get vaccinated, and what the consequences are.”

Click here to read the complete article from American Heart Association News.