It’s more important than ever to get your flu vaccine this year. It’s unknown to what degree influenza will cause severe illness this year, just as we don’t know the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will impact our communities throughout the winter months. Both are respiratory viruses and often symptoms can overlap making it difficult to distinguish between the two. Both can cause severe illness, hospitalization and death.
Although the flu vaccine does not provide 100% protection, it is the best way to prevent influenza and often results in a more mild case of the illness for those who do become infected. Even if you are not at high risk for complications from influenza, by getting vaccinated you can reduce the spread within the community which reduces serious illness in those who are at high-risk and lessens the burden on the healthcare system.
Flu season typically extends from late winter through early spring. It usually takes about two weeks for your body to develop an adequate immune response after getting vaccinated so it’s important to get vaccinated before flu begins to circulate in your community. Most health professionals recommend getting vaccinated by the end of October but you can still get vaccinated anytime throughout flu season.
This year, in an effort to reduce the spread of influenza within the community, several organizations teaming up to offer free flu vaccination. In addition, most insurance covers yearly flu vaccination at no cost. Learn more about where you can get your free flu vaccine.
The more people who get vaccinated, the better we can protect our community!