LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Doctors are warning that this flu season may be worse than last year.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a bigger emphasis on public health measures last year, including hand-washing, mask use and social distancing. That helped keep flu activity low.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the best way to avoid the flu is to get the flu vaccine.

Doctors said you can get the flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. But experts said the misconception that the flu shot makes people sick often keeps them from getting it.

"If you don't feel well after the vaccine, sometimes it's merely our response to the vaccine," said Dr. Jennifer Caudle, a family physician. "And also remember it takes about two weeks for the flu shot to actually develop protectiveness in our body."

The flu is estimated to cause up to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. Experts say flu season typically peaks between December and February.

Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.