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Doctors, pharmacists preparing for upcoming flu season

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Posted at 6:51 PM, Aug 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-09 22:19:24-04

Local doctors say they saw a late peak for the 2022 flu season.

“We saw a spike of people that were coming through that said they've got the flu,” said En Soleil Pharmacy CEO Scott Guess.

“For the first time in four decades, it was a very late peak,” said Twin Cities Hospitalist Dr. Stephen Sigmund. “The cases rose a little bit in December then went back down. Then we rose again until April and May. We've even seen cases all the way through July.”

While August is the dead period for the flu, doctors are already thinking ahead to the next flu season.

“With this upcoming flu season, it's going to be difficult to predict,” said Dr. Sigmund. “This is a little bit of uncharted territory. The difficulty this time is because there's been fewer cases. We've had less to study worldwide.”

Several local pharmacies are already preparing to offer flu shots to patients.

“I do not have them in stock yet,” said Guess. “I'm expecting them any time between now and the first part or middle of September. “

Guess said he does not know exactly when the vaccine will arrive at his pharmacy.

“It's always kind of a guessing game,” said Guess. “We order it and we just have to wait and see what we actually get.”

The shot is recommended for those willing and able to get it.

“You can get it early and make sure you get a dose because I don't know if there's going to be shortages this year or not,” said Guess. “I probably cannot emphasize enough to get a flu shot this year.”

“For the regular individual, we're still recommending starting in September through early October to avoid the peak,” said Dr. Sigmund.

It's recommended you consult with your primary care doctor to consider all factors before getting the flu shot.

Dr. Sigmund said doctors are predicting the peak for the upcoming flu season to take place in December or January with the limited data presented at this time.