Getting a flu shot is more important than ever this year

GEHA | October 8, 2020

immunization COVID-19
The flu remains a serious disease in its own right.

Influenza vaccinations are always an important tool for fighting the flu during the winter, but getting your flu shot is even more important this fall.

In past years, if someone felt the flu coming on, she or he might ride out the symptoms for a few days at home and try to recover. But because the flu and COVID-19 share several symptoms, that same person might now go to an emergency room, putting unnecessary work on doctors and nurses and putting him or herself at unnecessary risk of exposure. Also, it may be impossible to tell the difference between the two diseases without a COVID test.

In addition, the flu remains a serious disease in its own right.

Because health experts expect COVID and influenza may become a “twindemic” this fall, the CDC projects nearly 25 million more flu shots will be available this year than last. The CDC also suggests getting a flu shot in September or October.

Health experts recommend anyone 6 months old and older get a flu vaccine every year. It is also safe for pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions to receive a flu vaccine. If you are allergic to eggs, have a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome, are not feeling well or suspect you have COVID-19, talk to your doctor about getting a flu shot.


Sources:
“Similarities and Differences Between Flu and COVID-19.” cdc.gov, Centers for Disease Control, 31 August, 2020.
“Rates of Co-Infection Between SARS-CoV-2 and Other Respiratory Pathogens.” Jamanetwork.com, Journal of American Medicine, 15 April, 2020.
“Frequently asked Influenza (Flu) Questions: 2020-2021 Season.” cdc.gov, Centers for Disease Control, 31 August, 2020.