It’s September, which means that flu season is fast approaching and flu shots are available and a necessary precaution during this pandemic. While the flu shot doesn’t protect from CoVID-19, both viruses cause similar symptoms and the CDC is recommending the flu shot to help keep medical resources available for the pandemic.
According to the CDC, it’s important to get the flu vaccine every year because the strains targeted by the flu shot change from year to year. With hospitals and healthcare workers overwhelmed with cases of CoVID-19, and researchers predicting a rise in both CoVID and flu cases during the flu season, it’s especially important to get the flu shot this year to prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
Not only will the flu shot help prevent a rise in hospitalizations, but getting vaccinated can also reduce the severity of illness in people who contract the flu after getting the flu shot.
The flu shot also helps protect more vulnerable populations, like those with chronic illnesses, pregnant women and young children. The CDC recommends all of these groups get their flu shot every year. For the rare cases of individuals who are unable to get the flu shot, community members getting vaccinated will help protect their health and community as a whole, something known as herd immunity. All high risk groups, including adults older than 65, caregivers of someone in a high risk group, and workers in high-risk settings should get the flu shot. Many individuals with chronic illnesses have a higher risk of complications from the flu, which means it’s especially important for them to get vaccinated as well. These chronic conditions include diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease as just a few examples.
In addition to getting your flu vaccine, you should still continue to practice social distancing and healthy habits that protect from CoVID-19, because these practices also protect you from other viruses like the flu. Continue to wash your hands, wear a mask, and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently. You should also be aware of spaces with large crowds and stay informed about cases of the flu in your community. These precautions should help ensure that you stay healthy throughout the 2020 flu season.
Centers for Disease Control Flu Facts & Vaccine Benefits
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Article on Herd Immunity
This article provides information on general health and health-related subjects. The information and other content provided by this article, or in any linked references, is not intended as a substitute for professional medical expertise and should not be used to replace the advice of your own healthcare provider.
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