Why Getting a Flu Shot Is Even More Important This Year
My daughter sent me this meme other day:
January, February, March, quarantine, December
Not the funniest meme out there, but it sure sums up the way time is passing. It’s hard to believe that after the past many months of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s time to get your flu shot again this fall.
We’re ready to protect you and your family, and it’s easier than ever with our drive-through flu shot locations. Everyone 6 months and older needs a flu shot, and this year, it matters more than ever! It’s crucial to protect as much of the population as possible from the flu this winter, as we’re also facing an expected surge of COVID-19.
• It’s not yet understood how the combination of COVID-19 and influenza (the “flu”) will affect our population. People may become very ill if they get COVID-19 and the flu at the same time or one after the other.
• Influenza is a serious illness and having it may weaken the immune system’s ability to respond to COVID-19. Having the flu could also increase your risk of getting COVID-19.
• While social distancing will help decrease the rates of infection for both viruses, it’s still important to get a flu shot. Staying away from people who may be sick and washing hands frequently certainly helps, and a flu shot gives added protection!
• Children may spread the flu virus to elderly or other at-risk relatives. As schools consider even partial reopening, we need to vaccinate children to protect the population and prevent them from bringing the flu home to their families.
Avoiding confusion between COVID and flu
Decreasing the rate of influenza cases has many benefits in the fight against COVID-19. These 2 illnesses have similar symptoms, making them potentially confusing to diagnose. If we can reduce the number of people with the flu.
• There’ll be fewer times when we’re unsure if a person has COVID-19 or influenza.
• We’ll preserve our COVID-19 testing and treating capabilities.
• We’ll be able to reserve hospital beds for our sickest patients.
• Fewer essential workers will miss work due to illness.
Getting a flu vaccine is safe
Our medical centers are offering drive-through flu shot locations for you to get vaccinated right from your own vehicle – a shot done safely (but without the shake and side of fries!) And if you need to come in for care, you will be able to get your flu shot then. We’re paying strict attention to social distancing, masks, and hygiene to keep you healthy.
I get my flu vaccine every year – and so do my 3 children. I want your children to be as protected as my own, and getting a flu shot today is the most important thing you can do to stay healthy this winter. In this challenging year it can feel as parents that there’s little we can control – but this is one step you can take to keep your family safe!
Resources for Parents:
My Doctor Online has a Cold and Flu website with expert advice – use it to find the nearest flu vaccine, treat symptoms at home, and know when to call your doctor.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is an excellent and trustworthy source of more information about flu and the flu vaccine.
Also in KP Thriving Families Blog:
Questions Parents Ask about the Flu Vaccine
7 Things Pediatricians Want You to Know About the Flu
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