(Updated September 3, 2021)
Flu season is upon us once again, and it’s more important than ever to get your flu shot.
In any given year, it’s important to get vaccinated against the flu for a number of reasons. But with an ongoing pandemic on our hands, there’s even more to consider.
Read on to find out how getting the flu shot can help support efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and check out our COVID-19 resource center here.
By now, we’re unfortunately very familiar with the far reaching effect and immense impact of this pandemic. The most apparent being the pressure on our healthcare system and its workers.
Now, we know what you might be thinking: how does getting a flu shot help this problem? Even though it’s never a 100% guarantee, a flu shot can help significantly reduce your chances of getting the flu or developing complications if you do get sick.
Past flu seasons have demonstrated a decrease in flu-related doctor’s visits by 40% to 60% thanks to the flu shot. Reducing the number of flu cases can help allocate more clinical care to those suffering with COVID-19 and free up much-needed space in overcrowded hospitals. It’s a simple way to keep yourself from getting sick and prevent an overwhelming pileup at the doctor’s office.
As more infectious COVID-19 variants circulate, many communities are beginning to take additional precautions with their health, including wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and social distancing when spending time with friends and family.
The 2020-2021 flu season demonstrated that many of the actions taken to prevent COVID-19 infection also help prevent the flu. From September 28, 2020 to May 22, 2021, the CDC reported that only 1,675 specimens (0.2%) tested in clinical laboratories were positive for an influenza virus. During the previous three seasons (before the pandemic) the percentage of specimens that tested positive for influenza peaked between 26.2% and 30.3%.
But much like COVID-19, the risk of getting the flu is still there. Think of the flu shot as just another precaution you can take to not only keep yourself safe but others as well. In the long run, it could potentially prevent you from getting the flu and then spreading it to those who might be more vulnerable. And at the very least, it’s a small act of kindness to help keep your community healthy.
COVID-19 and the flu are two completely different illnesses, which means it is possible to get them both. They do, however, have one very important thing in common — there is no cure. That’s especially a concern when you take the possibility of serious and sometimes fatal complications into consideration. The only way to combat either of these illnesses is through prevention. In 2018 and 2019 alone, the flu shot prevented an estimated 4.4 million flu cases.
Prevention is especially important for those who are at a higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu. For some, the flu could result in a hospitalization or, even worse, death. The flu shot is a quick and easy way to help avoid a stressful health scare altogether. And let’s face it, we could all use one less thing to worry about these days.
You can get your flu shot at your local pharmacy, and if you have questions about any of this, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Firefly Health care team. You can chat with us or schedule a visit in the app today. Not a member yet? Get started by signing up or giving us a call at (855) 869-9284.
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