Flu vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic: do or not
The flu season and vaccinations are already looming on the horizon, all against the backdrop of the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is understood that this flu season will be somewhat different. But people still need to get vaccinated. And right now it can be especially important. Writes about it Self.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that the flu may seem like a relatively mild illness, and for most healthy adults it is, but it can be serious in some cases.
With the flu vaccine, you are less likely to develop flu symptoms similar to COVID-19 (such as fever, fatigue, and sore throat). Therefore, it is less likely that you will have to be tested.
So, of course, there is an obvious benefit to getting vaccinated in that you reduce your personal risk of influenza, and there are benefits to protecting those around you.
1. Who should get the flu shot
The CDC states that the flu shot should be given to everyone six months of age and older, except in a few rare cases (such as allergies to an ingredient in the vaccine). It is important that everyone who is supposed to get the vaccine (it comes in the form of injections and nasal sprays) actually gets it. This is especially important for those at higher risk of developing severe flu effects, including those with asthma, heart disease, or diabetes, as well as the elderly and pregnant women.
2. When to get the flu shot
“The ideal time to get vaccinated is, of course, before the flu season starts,” said James D. Cherry, MD, distinguished professor of pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.
But keep in mind that it takes your body about two weeks to develop a complete immune response. So the CDC suggests getting the flu shot in early fall, around September or early October. You can still get the flu shot if you miss this time, but it's best to get it early so you can be sure you're vaccinated before the flu season begins.
3. It is common to get the flu shot at work, but now many people still work from home. Where, in this case, can you get vaccinated?
You can get the flu shot in your doctor's office, but unlike children, adults may not have a regular doctor. In this case, scheduling a flu shot can be challenging.
If you want, you can get the flu vaccine at many pharmacies (such as CVS, Duane Reade, Walgreen's, etc.) or emergency centers. You can also use the CDC's VaccineFinder tool to find nearby flu shots.
4. Where can I get a flu shot without insurance
“If you don’t have a job or health insurance right now, then, understandably, getting the flu vaccine may not be your top priority,” explains Dr. Ratner. "But there are actually several ways to get a free or low-cost flu shot through your local health department."
For example, most pharmacies, clinics, and emergency care centers offer flu shots at a relatively low cost to those without insurance ($ 20 to $ 40 depending on the form of the vaccine and where you get it).
In addition, in many cities and states, the local health department will fund vaccination campaigns that may be run in schools, hospitals, or other health centers. However, the pandemic could make them difficult to implement this year, so it is worth checking with your local health department.
5. But what about the precautions we take to prevent the spread of COVID-19, aren't they effective against the flu?
All the ways we are currently using to reduce the spread of the coronavirus - wearing masks, constantly washing and disinfecting our hands, social distancing, among other things - can help us contain the flu.
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