While flu viruses are detected in the United States year-round, they are most common during the fall and winter. This flu season, it is likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will spread. The best way to protect yourself against the flu is to get a flu shot.
Getting a flu shot can keep you from getting sick with the flu.
This is obviously the vaccine’s primary benefit. According to the CDC, the flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor’s visits each year.
There are concerns that hospitals may be overburdened this fall and winter due to admissions for both COVID-19 and the flu. Vaccinations help to alleviate that burden by preventing unnecessary hospitalizations.
During the 2018-2019 season, it’s estimated that the flu vaccine prevented 4.4 million illnesses, 2.3 million flu-related medical visits, 58,000 flu-associated hospitalizations and 3,500 flu-related deaths.
Getting a flu shot can reduce the severity of illness if you still get sick.
If you still get sick with the flu, studies have shown that being vaccinated can reduce the severity of your illness. A 2018 study showed that among adults hospitalized with flu, patients who were vaccinated were 59 percent less likely to be admitted to the ICU.
If you have a chronic condition, getting a flu shot is an important preventative measure.
People with asthma, heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and some other chronic conditions are at high risk of developing serious flu complications.
When to Get a Flu Shot
According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s usually best for people in the United States to get a flu shot in September and October. Check with your doctor if you have had a severe reaction to a previous flu vaccine.
Where to Get a Flu Shot
Flu vaccines are available now at Hoover Pharmacy. No appointment necessary.
COVID-19 and the Flu
The measures you can take to prevent catching the flu are the same as those that have been indicated to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Avoid close contact with people who are sick, cover your mouth and nose, practice good hand hygiene and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Visit the CDC for vaccination guidance during a pandemic.
Getting a flu shot can help protect you and your loved ones from the flu. For more information, visit cdc.gov/flu.