Welcome to flu season 2020! Mixed with a global pandemic and uncertain times you might be wondering if you should even get the flu vaccine this year or if you still have time. The answer to both questions is yes. It’s actually more important this year than any other year as the CDC has stated that getting the flu vaccination this year will help reduce flu related sicknesses going to the hospital which in turn will lessen the burden on the healthcare system already stretched thin from the COIVD-19 pandemic.
Every year millions of Americans suffer from influenza with symptoms that range from mild to life-threatening. The flu shot is the best tool available to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Flu vaccines assist your body’s natural ability to defend itself and every year doctors and scientists work to make the best flu vaccine possible. This year most flu vaccines are quadrivalent, meaning they provide protection against four different types of flu.
The flu vaccine “teaches” your immune system how to recognize and fight the flu virus so when and if it does encounter the flu it knows just how to fight. It takes 2 weeks for the flu shot to work and provide protection so that is why now is the perfect time to get the flu vaccine as flu season, that time when we see the most flu activity, peaks in December through February but can last until May.
You might be wondering what about living in a COVID 19 world - is it safe for me to go out and get the flu vaccine? The CDC is stressing that it is completely safe to get the flu vaccine as many pharmacies and community clinics are offering drive up clinics where you don’t even have to get out of your vehicle to get vaccinated! Pharmacies, doctor offices and anywhere else you may go to get your flu shot have increased their safety measures as well to protect not only you but staff.
The CDC further offers up https://vaccinefinder.org/ to check out the nearest location near you to get your vaccine. If you need help with transportation, Lyft is offering ride credits through Dec. 31 to Virginians. Use code VAFIGHTSFLU, restrictions apply.
There is no time like today to get the flu vaccination and protect yourself and those you love from influenza!