With the COVID-19 pandemic, health concerns have no doubt been a hot topic this year. With so much attention focused on the coronavirus, it’s easy to forget that flu season is just around the corner. The flu can result in serious illness and even death, making it crucial to do our part to help prevent the spread.Will the flu be bad in winter 2020?Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) feel that it is likely that both the flu virus and COVID-19 will spread this fall and winter, making it even more important to receive your annual flu vaccination. With little means to predict how potent the flu virus will be this winter, it is best practice to assume it will be a significant season for virus transmission and severity.One thing is clear, having two potentially dangerous and highly infectious viruses circulating will make the winter of 2020/2021 unlike any we’ve experienced yet, increasing the importance of taking preventive action.Does the flu shot protect against coronavirus?The flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19 or the coronavirus which causes it. It is likely, however, to prevent you from needing to see your doctor or be hospitalized for the flu. Keeping you out of your doctor’s office or a care facility helps you avoid unnecessary exposure to COVID-19 and conserves potentially scarce health care resources.When should I get the flu shot?Experts recommend getting your annual flu shot between late September and late October, but vaccination should continue if flu viruses are still circulating. This could mean January or even later.Keep in mind some locations that previously provided flu vaccination, such as workplaces, may choose not to this year due to guidelines and precautions related to COVID-19. Remember, it doesn’t matter where you get the flu shot, as long as it’s an FDA-approved vaccine administered by a certified professional. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist and plan for where and when you will get yours.This winter is poised to be a very different one for many reasons and taking steps to avoid the spread of COVID-19 such as staying at home are important. One thing that should remain consistent, however, is preventive care like vaccinations to help keep our communities healthy and strong.