With all the news about the various COVID-19 vaccines in development, it’s easy to forget there’s another type of vaccine out there right now, ready to protect us from a potentially serious viral disease: The influenza — or flu — vaccine.

Because this year’s flu season will coincide with the novel coronavirus pandemic, health care providers are sounding the alarm. “Getting a flu shot has never been more important,” says Philip Robinson, MD, the medical director of infection prevention at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, California.