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Editor’s Note: The video above is from last flu season when cases were extremely low.

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Cleveland Clinic and other Northeast Ohio hospitals are preparing for a busier flu season than last year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is predicting an increase in flu cases because many public health measures have been relaxed.

“Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection that can cause mild to severe illness,” said Steven Gordon, M.D., chair of the Department of Infectious Disease at Cleveland Clinic

“Like COVID-19, the best way to prevent the spread of influenza is by getting vaccinated.”

Cleveland Clinic experts say it’s more important to get the flu vaccine as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Health leaders want to avoid a surge in hospitalizations.

Cleveland Clinic is offering appointment-only community flu vaccination clinics across Northeast Ohio.

Patients can schedule by phone to the Cleveland mainline or through their primary care physician.

More on how to make an appointment with Cleveland Clinic here.

Flu season typically begins in October and lasts through May.

After getting vaccinated, it can take two to four weeks for the antibodies to develop.

Infectious disease experts recommend everyone six months and older get vaccinated every year.