Get your Flu Shot Now

No one particularly likes getting a flu shot but this year it is more important than ever to roll up your sleeve and take one to protect yourself, your family and your community. According to the CDC, getting vaccinated during 2020-21 will help to protect yourself and others from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks. Having fewer flu cases will also help ease the strain on our overworked health care systems responding to COVID-19.

The flu is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Older adults, infants and people with weakened immune systems (such as those undergoing cancer treatments) are especially vulnerable. Unlike COVID-19, influenza has been around for a while. Strains of the flu may vary from year to year, which is why health experts encourage everyone aged six months and older without contraindications to get an annual vaccination. Immunization also can wane over a period of time.

The best protection against the flu is to get the seasonal vaccine. The vaccines are tested and updated each season to protect against the most common viruses suggested to be circulating in the upcoming flu season. The vaccines are regularly monitored. Side effects, if any, are usually mild and go away in a few days. The most common are soreness, redness or swelling where the shot was given. The vaccine not only protects against the flu but also lowers the risks of flu-related heart attacks or other related complications from existing health conditions like diabetes and chronic lung disease. The flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19 but if you develop the flu, symptoms are generally milder.

Since it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection, the CDC recommends getting the flu vaccine by the end of October before flu viruses starts to spread within the community. If you believe you may have symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever , cough or shortness of breath, you should check with your health care professional for guidance. Click here to learn more about this year’s flu vaccinations.

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