Lifestyle Health Samira Wiley Says Getting a Flu Shot Is 'So Important' During the Coronavirus Pandemic The Handmaid's Tale star talks about why it's important to "defend your crew against the flu" By Nicholas Rice Nicholas Rice Instagram Twitter Nicholas Rice is an Associate Editor for PEOPLE Magazine. He began working with the brand as an Editorial Intern in early 2020, before later transitioning to a freelance role, and then staff positions soon after. Nicholas writes and edits anywhere between 7 to 9 stories per day on average for PEOPLE, spanning across each vertical the brand covers. Nicholas has previous work experience with Billboard, POPSUGAR, Bustle and Elite Daily. When not working, Nicholas can be found playing with his 5 dogs, listening to pop music or eating mozzarella sticks. People Editorial Guidelines Published on September 22, 2020 02:55 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty For Samira Wiley, getting an annual flu shot has always been important. But this year, because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, she says that it is more critical than ever. Experts predict an upcoming "twindemic" between the flu and the coronavirus in the fall and winter. "These two things are going to be happening at the same time," Wiley, 33, tells PEOPLE. "Getting a flu shot is so important because our health care system can't handle everything that would be happening if everyone didn't get the flu shot." Noting that her family always made sure that she got a flu shot ever since she was little, Wiley says they set an important example. "It has always been so important for me to get the flu shot to make sure that not only am I safe, but of course, anyone that I come into contact with is safe." Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University, agrees. "If people get the flu vaccine, they are much less likely to get sick, or they will have a substantially less severe infection and so are less likely to be hospitalized, go to the ICU or die," he tells PEOPLE. "We need as many people as possible vaccinated against flu this fall. It’s not only important to protect yourself, but to take some of the strain off the healthcare system which is going to be hit by both COVID-19 and flu." Everything You Need to Know About a Possible Coronavirus Vaccine Gary Gershoff/Getty The Orange Is the New Black actress has teamed up with Walgreens for their new campaign "Defend Your Crew Against the Flu." In the ad, the Emmy-winning star says, "This isn't just a bandage. It's a badge of honor, of care, of respect, because it means you fight for the safety of those you love." "You become a flu-fighter," she says at the end of the video. "Do your part and defend your crew against the flu." RELATED VIDEO: Walgreens' Defend Your Crew Against the Flu Ad Wiley says she worked on the ad in her closet, turning it into a recording booth. "In this time of COVID, I think normally for a project like this I would be able to go in and meet people and be in a recording booth. But unfortunately, because of the time that we're living in, things are done a little different these days." "That's exactly another reason everyone is looking forward to when we can leave our closets and leave our homes and be able to interact with each other in the real world on the outside like we used to," she says. Several States May Require Kids to Get a Flu Vaccine Ahead of Coronavirus School Reopenings As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.