It’s Flu Shot Time!
September 28, 2020
We know that “The Flu” is never a favorite topic of conversation, especially in the midst of the COVID pandemic. However, flu season is right around the corner, and experts are encouraging everyone to consider getting a flu shot to protect the wellbeing of the population – as well as to prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed.
Coronavirus Is Not the Only Virus Out there
While it may seem like the rest of the world’s viruses have disappeared, that is not the case. All of the normal contributors – rhinovirus, influenza A and B, etc. – are still floating around. And, while mask wearing and sheltering-in-place will certainly do their part in slowing down this season’s transmission, everyone is still vulnerable.
As such, the CDC states, “Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect yourself and the people around you from flu, and to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Who Should Get the Flu Shot?
Anyone over 6 months of age should get the flu shot each year. This is the best way to remain healthy, avoid having to miss school or work days, and to prevent the spread of viral flus to those with compromised immune systems, who are the most likely to experience flu-related hospitalization or fatality.
Who Should NOT Get the Flu Shot?
Flu shots and/or nasal sprays have been approved for virtually all sectors of the population. However, there are exceptions. Those who should not get a flu shot or nasal spray vaccine unless your doctor expresses otherwise include:
- Babies younger than six months (if you’re breastfeeding, your breastmilk is their antibody rich flu protection!)
- People with severe or life-threatening allergies to common, flu-shot ingredients such as eggs, antibiotics, or other flu vaccine ingredients
- Those who have had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). If a close member of your family has had GBS, let your doctor know.
- Those who aren’t feeling well. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor or the 24-hour nurse line and decide whether or not it would be better to wait until you’re feeling better.
Get Your 2020 Flu Shot Before Flu Season
While the CDC’s stated flu season typically runs from December through February, flu shots work best when administered prior to flu exposure. That’s why health centers and pharmacies around the nation are rolling their flu shots out now.
It takes about two full weeks for your body to process the vaccine and make the necessary antibodies to protect you from the current flu strains. By getting your vaccine before you’ve been exposed, you give your body a much better chance of forgoing the flu altogether this year.
Flu Shots Are Not One-Size-Fits-All
There are a range of different types of flu shots, depending on the individual’s age, current health state, medical history, and relevant allergies.
If you are getting a flu shot somewhere other than your general healthcare provider’s clinic or office, contact your doctor and see which one s/he recommends for you, your children, and other members of your family. In addition to altering ingredients, doses, and administration methods to meet the needs of the patient, flu vaccines are also specially formulated each year in an attempt to match the predicted flu threats.
You can Click Here to read detailed information about the flus this year’s vaccinations were designed to prevent.
Examples of flu vaccinations designed for different ages and populations include:
- Flu shots approved for use in children as young as 6 months old and flu shots approved for use in adults 65 years and older.
- Flu shots also are recommended and approved for use in pregnant women and people with certain chronic health conditions.
- The nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for use in non-pregnant individuals who are 2 years through 49 years of age. People with some certain medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray flu vaccine.
This Year’s Flu Vaccine Also Protect the Healthcare System
As you know, outbreaks of COVID-19 can have a severe impact on a local healthcare system, which compromises the facility’s ability to provide equitable care for all.
As a result, the CDC and healthcare providers around the nation are heavily emphasizing the need to get the flu vaccine. In addition to preventing you and your loved one’s from having an adverse flu reaction that would require hospitalization or acute medical care, flu vaccines stop the transmission of flu from person to person, preserving our urgent care and ICUs for others.
Have questions or concerns about the flu vaccine? Contact your healthcare provider to get his/her input, or schedule a consultation with us here at Women’s Health Associates, where we believe informed women make the best decisions for their bodies and the wellbeing of the ones they love.