Speak Now: Be flu free!

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Flu season normally begins each year in the fall and we are all encouraged to get our flu shots in early October. This year, flu shots are more important than ever due to the impact of the flu as well as COVID-19. 

Vaccines are immensely important for the protection of the population. The flu vaccine, specifically, is created each year using data based on which viruses are circulating and which viruses scientists predict will circulate in the upcoming year. Even though the predictions are often not completely accurate, vaccines do offer a good amount of protection. In February 2020, the flu vaccine for the 2019-2020 season was reported to be approximately 45% effective. This effectiveness is a much better alternative than having no protection at all. Research has also shown that those who contract the flu after being vaccinated often have a less severe version of the illness. 

However, in previous years, less than 50% of Americans received the flu vaccine. This must change. 

This year especially, it is incredibly important to receive a flu shot. Both COVID-19 and the influenza have similar symptoms, such as fever, chills, fatigue and muscle pain, to name a few. By getting a flu shot and decreasing the possibility of contracting the flu, it will be easier for doctors to diagnose the illness. 

By getting a flu shot and decreasing the possibility of contracting the flu, it will be easier for doctors to diagnose the illness (COVID).

Getting a flu vaccine would also help ensure that hospitals and other medical facilities are not overwhelmed. During the pandemic, there has been a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), ICU beds and hospital staff. With the effects of both COVID-19 and the flu, there may be a surge in the number of patients and resources needed. If people are vaccinated, however, this surge may not be as great. 

It is also important to note that the influenza has its own deadly effects. During the 2019-2020 flu season, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that between 24,000 and 62,000 people in the U.S. died due to the flu. There were even reports of patients who had both COVID-19 as well as the flu at the same time. 

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The vaccines not only give people individual protection, but also helps the community. If there are people in the community unable to get the vaccine due to a compromised immune system or age restrictions, there will be still a smaller chance that the virus will spread. if the rest of the community gets the vaccine, 

It is a public duty for as many people as possible to get vaccines in order to protect ourselves and our community. Having access to a vaccine and choosing not to get it is both selfish as well as reckless. 

It is a public duty for as many people as possible to get vaccines in order to protect ourselves and our community. Having access to a vaccine and choosing not to get it is both selfish as well as reckless

Currently, there are measures being put in place by states, government agencies as well as private companies to ensure that people around the country have access to a flu vaccine. The CDC has even created a website so that anyone in the U.S. can find a place that administers flu vaccines based on their location. Drugstores such as CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid also offer flu shots for anyone over the age of 18. 

Doctors recommend people receive their flu shots in October so that people have better immunity, especially come March when there is often a surge in the number of flu cases. However, it is never too early to start thinking and spreading the word about getting vaccinated!

1 COMMENT

  1. I used to work in healthcare. I remember a rather unfortunate young woman from the last flu season – she meant to get the vaccine, but kept on putting it off. She ended up getting both types (Type B and Type A) of influenza, one after another. Her youth certainly helped her get through it, but good heavens, she certainly didn’t enjoy the experience. COVID-19 only makes the matter worse now. It’s all the more important that people get the vaccine now. To be compounded by two dangerous respiratory viruses could very well be fatal, especially on those who are immunocompromised.

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