Pricey Docs: Do I actually need to get a flu shot this yr? I am nonetheless social distancing, sporting a masks and never attending indoor occasions. I bought the shot final yr, however then there wasn’t any flu round in any respect. Anyway, I simply bought a booster for COVID-19, so I am uneasy about getting the flu shot, too.
Pricey Reader: We suspect you will not be shocked that our reply is sure, you completely ought to get your flu shot this yr. The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention urges everybody 6 months previous and older to be vaccinated in opposition to the flu earlier than the beginning of this yr’s season.
It is true that final yr’s flu season was a traditionally gentle one. This was due largely to widespread stay-at-home orders and the strong masking and social distancing that everybody practiced after they did enterprise out. One other contributing issue was that, as a result of pandemic, individuals did not go to their medical doctors and pressing care facilities after they turned unwell. Many instances of the flu went undiagnosed. This left us with incomplete knowledge in regards to the precise scope of sickness. Now, after 18 months of restricted contact outdoors of their rapid households, individuals are as soon as once more venturing out. They’re touring, socializing, returning to workplaces and customarily spending extra time in public. This raises their danger of catching the flu, and likewise of passing it alongside to others.
Because of the overlap in flu and COVID-19 signs, together with fever, headache, physique aches, cough, exhaustion and congestion, you want a check to know whether or not it is the influenza virus or the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 that is making you unwell. It is an necessary distinction as a result of COVID-19 requires particular and sustained precautions.
Further medical visits pressure our already-stressed well being care system. All of the extra cause to get your flu shot, in addition to the COVID-19 vaccine. Talking of which, knowledge collected by British and U.S. researchers finds no indicators of hassle when individuals get each vaccines on the identical time. In the event you’re nonetheless involved, you possibly can area out your vaccination appointments by just a few weeks.
The excellent news is that by including a flu vaccine to the precautions you are already taking, you are considerably decreasing your danger of getting severely unwell. Exceptions to the flu shot advice are individuals with extreme allergy symptoms to any ingredient in a flu vaccine. Your well being care supplier may help you establish if that is the case. Individuals with egg allergy symptoms want to debate the vaccine with their well being care suppliers. So do those that have had Guillain-Barre syndrome. Relying on the specifics, some individuals in every of those classes could also be suggested to not get the flu vaccine. Nevertheless, that is a minute subset of people who find themselves eligible for the vaccine. By getting vaccinated, you are not solely defending your self, but additionally your loved ones, your neighborhood and the well being care suppliers who’re working so arduous — and risking a lot — to maintain us all protected.
Our flu season runs from October to Could, with peak flu exercise occurring between December and March. It takes about two weeks after a flu shot for immunity to kick in, so the time to get vaccinated is now.