NBC News reports that health officials are urging people to get their flu shots now, as two studies warn that this flu season could be a miserable one. Getting the shot now is an attempt to prevent further strain on hospitals already overwhelmed by COVID-19 and other viruses. It is almost impossible to predict what will happen in any flu season, but this year, a combination of factors could make this winter particularly tough, experts say. Children are back in school, often in communities that have eased up on mask mandates and physical distancing measures. And since flu was minimal to nonexistent last year, people were not exposed to the virus, potentially undermining the protection they'd normally have.