Increasing signs of the potential seriousness of this year’s flu season makes getting your flu shot this year more important than ever, say Banner Health experts. 

READ ALSOHere’s how to avoid COVID-19 and the flu simultaneously

Flu season usually starts in October, with infectious-disease specialists suggesting the best time to get vaccinated is from early September to the end of October. People can schedule their flu shots now at

“I am concerned that this could be a very bad flu season,’’ said Devin Minior, MD, physician executive at Banner Urgent Care

Predicting flu activity in the U.S. is always tricky. Normally, the U.S. looks to Australia for clues in advance on flu-season activity since their winter is our summer. This year’s Australian flu season arrived early.

“We can’t easily predict the severity of this year’s flu. To be safe, people are strongly encouraged to get a flu shot. We can’t stress that enough,’’ he said. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that it is safe to get COVID vaccinations and flu shots at the same time. 

It is now recommended that adults 65 and older receive high-dose influenza vaccines for better flu protection. People 65 years and older are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications like pneumonia and hospitalizations. Banner Urgent Cares also offer those high-dose vaccines. 

CDC recommends flu and COVID-19 vaccines for everyone ages 6 months and older.  

Flu shots are available at Banner Urgent Care clinics; $0 copay with most insurances.