This year, more than ever, you need a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone older than 6 months of age get a flu vaccine every flu season. However, the COVID-19 pandemic makes it even more important to vaccinate against influenza for the 2020 flu season. Here’s why you should get a flu shot this year, and every year.
Keep your community healthy
The CDC reports that flu shots prevented 4.4 million influenza illnesses during the 2018-2019 flu season.
Vaccines are the most effective way to protect yourself from viral infections. When you get a flu shot, you are decreasing the risk that you will get the flu. But you also reduce the risk of spreading the flu to others.
The level of flu protection for your community increases as more people get the flu vaccine. Think of getting a flu shot like a civic duty. Protect yourself, protect your family, and help protect those around you.
Reduce your sick days
The CDC reports that flu shots prevented 2.3 million flu-associated medical visits during the 2018-2019 flu season.
Flu vaccine offers a certain level of protection from influenza viruses, but it is still possible to get sick with the flu even after vaccination. However, your symptoms will be less severe and you will recover faster if you get a flu shot than if you do not.
Stay out of the hospital
The CDC reports that flu shots prevented 58,000 flu-associated hospitalizations during the 2018-2019 flu season.
Flu vaccine reduces the severity of flu symptoms, which reduces the number of flu-related hospitalizations.
The CDC reports that flu shots prevented 3,500 flu-associated deaths during the 2018-2019 flu season.
Getting a flu shot can literally save your life and the lives of others. Flu vaccine helps keep you safe from the flu, and it helps protect those around you. This is especially important for people who are at a high risk for complications because of the flu.
Reasons to get the flu shot during COVID-19
Even though the flu shot doesn’t protect against COVID-19, flu vaccine will be beneficial during the coronavirus pandemic and help prevent a “twindemic”.
Influenza viruses and SARS-CoV-2 will circulate this flu season. We don’t have a vaccine for COVID-19 yet, but we can vaccinate against the flu. Getting a flu vaccine can help reduce your risk for respiratory illnesses during cold and flu season. Since the diseases’ symptoms overlap, avoiding the flu can mean avoiding a COVID-19 scare.
Flu shots help reduce the burden on medical infrastructure. Fewer people in hospitals because of the flu means that we can conserve healthcare resources.
The earlier you get a flu shot, the better. Flu vaccine can take up to two weeks to provide protection from the virus. Schedule an appointment to get a flu shot in Northwest Arkansas — MANA offers flu shots at 14 convenient locations across Northwest Arkansas.
Remember that cold, flu, and COVID-19 symptoms are very similar. It can be difficult to determine the cause of your illness without the help of a medical professional.
Also, you must still take steps to help prevent the spread of illnesses in your community even if you do get a flu shot. Remember to wash your hands, maintain physical distance, wear a mask while in public, and stay home if you are sick.