COLUMBUS (WCMH)–October is here and so is the start of flu season, but is Ohio ready for the flu after having few cases last year?

Dr. Joseph Gastaldo and Dr. Mysheika Roberts are urging people to get their flu shot along with the covid vaccine.

Both doctors said this year’s flu season in particular has a lot of unknowns.

The leaves are changing and temperatures cooling and flu season is just beginning.

“Really that’s a big unknown for what may or may not happen this winter because of mask-wearing and lockdowns last winter — influenza activity was essentially nonexistent,” said Dr. Gastaldo.

He expects to see more flu cases and hospitalizations this year and that’s with COVID-19.

“It’s not well described if people get COVID and then get flu on top of that are they going to be sicker, have a worse outcome so those are things I really want to know as an infectious disease doctor,” he said.

The Ohio Hospital Association said right now in the state there are roughly 3,600 people hospitalized for COVID.

Fighting the flu and COVID with limited hospital beds is a concern for both Gastaldo and Dr. Mysheika Roberts.

“Particularly here in our zone, they’re seeing hospital activity that mimics what we saw in December of 2020 so really high levels due to COVID 19 and the delta surge,” she said, talking about hospital bed concerns.

Dr. Roberts is urging people to get both vaccines and said it’s safe to get them together.

They’re starting a new clinic starting next week involving local fire stations.

“Those will be a very small version of our drive-thru clinics so people will be able to drive-thru they can get either the COVID-19 vaccine or the flu vaccine,” she said.

Both said to continue with what we’ve been doing, mask up, wash your hands, and consider vaccination.