Flu season is here. The best way to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community from serious flu illness is by getting vaccinated by October 31.
Due to circulating coronavirus variants, health experts share concerns over a possible dual pandemic. Individuals are feeling more comfortable leaving their homes and removing masks after receiving COVID-19 vaccines, which could contribute to a rise in flu cases this fall compared to last year. Getting a flu shot now through the end of October will offer the most effective window of protection throughout flu season.
Three reasons to get a flu shot:
1. Decrease risk of serious flu illness.
Every year, the flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor’s visits. Flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by 40-60%, according to studies referenced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While an individual can still contract the flu virus, complications will be less severe if they received their flu shot prior to infection. For instance, flu shots prevented an estimated 105,000 flu-related hospitalizations during the 2019-2020 flu season.
2. Protect those around you from flu illness.
Like many infectious diseases, everyone who has died from the flu caught it from someone else. That is why community immunity is important. Community immunity (also referred to as herd immunity) happens when enough of the community is resistant to a contagious disease. As a result, unvaccinated populations will be protected from serious flu illness because transmission between those who are vaccinated occurs less often.
For example, babies under six months old are too young to receive a flu shot. Since they are one of the most vulnerable populations for serious flu illness, it is up to the parents and family to get vaccinated to help reduce the risk of illness for the baby. The small step of getting a flu shot could make the difference between life and death for at-risk populations.
3. Help hospitals provide care needed to patients in critical need.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been critical for individuals to take necessary precautions to keep themselves healthy and avoid hospital visits. This includes vaccinations for COVID-19 as well as the flu. The spread of the coronavirus’ delta variant has increased hospital capacity across the state. By getting a flu shot, you can keep yourself out of the hospital and allow health care workers to care for patients in critical need.
Good news: you can get a flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. Many clinics are accepting appointments or walk-ins for both vaccines. Find a clinic near you today: