Pandemic: Should I get a flu shot?
When should you get a flu shot?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “…flu is difficult to predict, and can vary in different parts of the country”. Getting an annual flu shot is recommended, especially for at risk individuals. Elderly people, pregnant women and those younger than 5 years old are considered high risk. If your immune system is compromised, you will also belong to this high risk group.
Why should people outside of high risk groups get vaccinated?
It’s important for everyone, not just high risk groups, to get vaccinated. The vaccination gives a mild version of the disease to your body that it can fight. Populations that have a high percentage of people who are vaccinated lessen the chance for anyone to get sick from that particular disease. This is the phenomenon called herd immunity.
Without a vaccine, people in high risk groups are especially at risk for life threatening complications from disease. A vaccine gives your body antibodies which protect it against certain diseases without causing a severe case of the disease. People are saved from harmful side effects, such as paralysis in the case of polio, when they are vaccinated.
Is it safe to get a flu shot during a pandemic?
Yes. However, the CDC recommends taking these precautions when you go for a flu shot.
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose
- Make sure your hand sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid close contact with sick family members
- Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet (1.83 m) from others outside
- Wear a face mask
Getting a flu shot is safe this season. Health care providers have been given guidance on how to ensure the safety of patients when vaccinating during a pandemic. It is important to keep immunization services functioning to prevent vaccine-treatable infections. Don’t hesitate to receive your flu vaccine.
During this time of pandemic it is especially important to maintain your normal vaccination routine. Vaccinations will ward off preventable diseases, leaving your immune system strength to fight new viruses. Give your body the best chance to remain healthy by getting your flu vaccination.
Contact us to ask about getting your flu shot today.