The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is urging everyone six months and older to get an annual flu shot, especially as COVID-19 cases increase in Oregon and the pandemic persists.

“Flu vaccines are safe and effective, and with ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks, it is more important than ever to get a flu shot to keep the people around you healthy,” said Paul Cieslak, M.D., medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations at the OHA.

The flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, but vaccination has many other benefits and is part of a comprehensive public health strategy to reduce the burden of the flu.

Getting the vaccine is something easy people can do to protect themselves and their loved ones and help reduce the spread of flu this fall and winter.

The flu vaccine may take up to two weeks to become effective so getting it earlier in the flu season is ideal.

The vaccine is available from healthcare providers, local health departments and many pharmacies and is free or low cost with most health insurance plans.

To find a flu vaccine clinic, visit flu.oregon.gov and use the OHA’s flu vaccine locator tool.