DR. ROACH WRITES: Every year around this time I write a column on the different flu vaccines that are available. Before doing so this year, I want to implore readers to get their flu vaccine. If you have never gotten one, now is the time. If you had a bad reaction 20 years ago, give the vaccine another chance this year. If you have never had the flu and don't see the reason for the vaccine, this is the year to start.

The reason I say this is that as I write, COVID-19 cases continue to increase in many parts of North America. Hospitals will be stressed. More people getting the flu shot means fewer people who need to be hospitalized for flu. I recall years where every bed in the intensive care unit was filled with a person with severe lung disease from influenza, and ICU beds may be in very short supply.

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