Every year around this time, healthcare practitioners start reminding Americans about their annual flu shot. This year, that reminder has become even more urgent. COVID-19 is still surging and colder weather might mean flu patients swamping hospitals, putting an even bigger strain on healthcare systems.
The time is now to get your flu shot.
Preventing a slew of flu cases can help preserve resources that could be allocated to the fight against COVID-19. You don’t want your immune defenses down, especially when the coronavirus is still spreading widely.
Although there are measures that help protect us against the coronavirus such as social distancing, wearing a face mask, and washing your hands frequently, you’ll get an extra layer of protection by getting a flu shot. A study showed that people who had COVID-19 combined with flu were sicker than those who had COVID-19 alone.
The symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, which makes it difficult for providers to simply diagnose by symptoms. Fever, fatigue, body aches, chills, and coughs are just some of the common symptoms that are common in both COVID-19 and flu.
People who have the flu might also need to get tested for COVID-19 to get a proper diagnosis and then quarantine for days until they get the results.
Flu shots are an inexpensive way to protect yourself this flu season. Although the shots are far from perfect, it offers 60% better protection than getting no flu shot. Even if you catch the flu, the vaccination may help result in a milder case.
There is currently an unprecedented effort to boost flu vaccination rates. The CDC aims to have 198 million doses of flu vaccine available this year, which is nearly 30 million doses more than last year.
Because of the pandemic, distribution will be more difficult and challenging than in previous years. Some people are fearful to leave their homes for fear of contracting the coronavirus. This is why many providers are trying to make it easier and safer for patients to get their flu shot. You can check with your doctor on how to get vaccinated.
This year is a critical year for all of us. While some may feel helpless, getting vaccinated is a valuable way to protect your family and your community. If you have any questions about this year’s flu shot, you can schedule an appointment at Brazos Valley Allergy & Asthma Clinics. We provide professional allergy, asthma, and immunology services to clients at numerous locations in the Brazos Valley region.