Make sure you get a flu shot this fall
Influenza (“flu”) season is now upon us. Managing the threat of the flu together with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges this year. Although most of us are making routine use of good hygiene practices, social distancing, face coverings, and specific workplace precautions, all of which can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like the flu, there is more to be done.
Due to the continuing pandemic overlapping with flu season, it’s more important than ever to get a flu shot. Each year, the components of the flu vaccine change to match the type of influenza A and B viruses that are likely to be circulating in the population. That’s why it’s provided annually.
A flu shot is the best way to protect you and your family from the flu. It can reduce the intensity and duration of the flu, and can decrease flu-related illnesses, doctor visits, hospitalizations and sick days from work and school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all people aged 6 months and older get the flu vaccine, especially those who are considered higher risk for the virus, including:
· Children younger than 5 years old
· Pregnant women and new mothers
· Adults 65 years and older
· Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
· People with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, asthma, COPD, etc.
· People who take care of those at high risk for flu complications
Take charge of your health
If you have yet to get a flu shot this fall, don’t wait any longer. Your body needs at least two weeks to build up immunity to the virus. You may be able to get vaccinated at your doctor’s office and other locations, such as local pharmacies, supermarkets and community centers. Plus, since flu shots are a preventive care service, they have a $0 copayment with most insurance plans, including Independent Health.