<![CDATA[Kudos to you for recognizing that you should get a flu shot! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that nearly everyone age 6 months and older be vaccinated against the flu each year. While that’s important every year, it’s even more important than normal this year, when there’s potential for the flu season and COVID-19 pandemic to overlap. Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care Cleveland shares some insight.
Why Is a Flu Shot Important?Each year, the flu vaccine is reformulated to protect against the strains of the flu that are thought to be most prevalent in that season. That’s why getting the vaccine isn’t a one-time thing—you need to do it each year. The flu season normally begins in November and lasts until March or April, peaking in the first months of the year. This year, that time period will overlap with the continued spread of COVID-19, which could put a strain on our health system and also presents a dual threat to your health.
Who Needs the Flu Vaccine
- Nearly everyone age 6 months and older
- Pregnant women
- Older adults
- Those with compromised immune systems
Is It Too Early to Get the Flu Shot?That’s a great question! The CDC recommends getting your flu shot by the end of October to provide optimal protection throughout the flu season. If you don’t get it by then, don’t worry—it will still provide some level of protection once you’re vaccinated. What about getting it now? If you’re of normal health, you can go ahead and get your flu shot when you’re ready. If you’re at a higher risk, though, or an older adult, you may want to wait a few weeks. Waiting until the end of September or early October can help make sure the antibodies protect you until the end of the flu season.
Other Ways to Prevent the Flu
- Avoid contact with others who may be sick.
- Wear a mask when directed to do so, which can limit the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses, like the flu.
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds at a time.
- If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Regularly disinfect commonly touched surfaces and objects.