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Stay Healthy This Winter with the Annual Flu Vaccine

woman administering flu vaccine to child

Is the Flu Shot Important in 2020?

By Michele Eggers, sr. quality care coordinator at Network Health

With the COVID-19 pandemic, health concerns have been a hot topic this year. Wrapped up in the conversation around the coronavirus, it’s easy to forget that flu season is just around the corner.

Attention may be focused on avoiding the health risks associated with catching or spreading the coronavirus and COVID-19, But with the flu also having a high annual toll, and presenting symptoms that are potentially life-threatening, it is crucial to do our part to help prevent its spread as well.

Will the Flu Be Bad in Winter 2020?

Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) feel that it is likely that both the flu virus and COVID-19 will spread this fall and winter, making it even more important to receive your annual flu vaccination. With little in the way of a means to predict how potent the flu virus will be this winter, it is best practice to treat the season like it will be a significant one for virus transmission and severity.

One thing is clear, having two dangerous and highly infectious viruses against which we are advised to take preventative action will make the winter of 2020/2021 unlike any we’ve experienced yet.

Does the Flu Shot Protect Against Coronavirus?

The flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19 or the coronavirus which causes it. It is likely, however, to prevent you from needing to see your doctor or be hospitalized for the flu. Keeping you out of your doctor’s office or a care facility helps you avoid unnecessary exposure to COVID-19 and conserves potentially scarce health care resources, which could undergo significant demand during a surge of COVID-19 cases.

When Should I Get the Flu Shot?

Experts recommend getting your annual flu shot between late September and late October, but vaccination should continue if flu viruses are still circulating. This could mean into January or even later.

Keep in mind some locations that previously provided flu vaccination, such as workplaces, may choose not to this year due to social distancing and pandemic prevention guidelines or precautions. Remember, it doesn’t matter where you get the flu shot, so long as it’s an FDA-approved vaccine administered by a certified professional. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist and plan for where and when you will get yours.

This winter is poised to be a very different one for several reasons. Taking steps to avoid the spread of COVID-19 such as staying at home are important. One thing that should remain consistent, however, is preventative care like vaccination to help keep our communities healthy and strong.

For more information on how your health plan can assist with preventative care like the annual flu vaccine, contact us today.

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