Flu season has arrived, and health officials in Cook County are emphasizing the importance of getting vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19. They believe that not getting vaccinated is more concerning than facing a needle.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle joined a panel of physicians to discuss the significance of getting updated flu and COVID vaccines. Doctors emphasize that these shots can help prevent serious complications, hospitalizations, and even deaths.

“I anticipate that with the weather getting colder, schools in full swing, and more indoor activities, the rates of test positivity for COVID and flu rates will only increase, just like we see every winter viral season,” said Dr. Sharon Welbel, Cook County Health Chief of Epidemiology & Infection Control.

The CDC has recently launched a campaign called “Wild to Mild,” aiming to reset expectations regarding what a flu vaccine can achieve, particularly in cases where it may not entirely prevent illness.