The flu vaccine is highly advised for everyone each year, but this year we’re dealing with the most virulent pandemic the country has seen in a century — COVID-19 — which means getting your vaccine should be at the very top of your health to-do list.
Dr. Gurprit Sekhon and the Nu Wave Medical Center team are, as always, focused on preserving your good health in addition to treating you when a problem arises. We strongly encourage the easy, painless, and preventive step of receiving your annual flu vaccine during the easiest of times. But now, it’s imperative.
Why are people so encouraged to receive their flu shot?
In a normal year, getting your flu shot is important. It offers long-term protection from scary complications that accompany the flu, like pneumonia, as well as the worsening of chronic conditions you may live with, such as diabetes and congestive heart failure.
It also offers potent protection from the flu to anyone you’re around, from coworkers to loved ones, and especially the most vulnerable, like infants, the immunosuppressed, and the elderly.
Why worry about a flu shot when the problem we’re facing is COVID-19?
The reasons above are the same reasons why we’re asking you to practice the “three Ws” as you go about your life during this pandemic:
- Wear a mask
- Wait and stand at least six feet apart from people in public spaces
- Wash your hands well and frequently
Right now, we’re not looking at an “either-or” situation — preventing the flu will unquestionably influence how we experience COVID-19.
Since a resurgence of COVID-19 is expected as we move into the winter months and it shares some symptoms with the flu, we know the more people that can avoid the flu and stay out of the hospital with flu complications, the more space there will be in our healthcare facilities for COVID-19 patients.
By getting your flu shot now, you can help keep our office and local hospitals from becoming overwhelmed this winter. It’s recommended anyone six months of age or older receive a flu shot.
Look at the numbers
What we want to avoid as much as possible are coinfections, or when people get both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. 35,000 people died of influenza in the 2018-19 season and nearly half a million were hospitalized, while at this point, the United States has lost 170,000 due to COVID-19.
The effects of contracting both illnesses at the same time are unknown, but the complications could be serious.
Banish flu shot myths
It’s important to understand a flu shot doesn’t guarantee you won’t get the flu because each year a new vaccine must be manufactured that matches what the upcoming year’s flu strain is anticipated to be as close as possible. That’s a hard job, but even if the vaccine gives you 50% protection, that’s a lot more than you had before.
A flu shot offers additional protection in that if you do contract the flu, chances are the severity of your illness won’t be as intense than if you hadn’t gotten protection. Since we’re all battling two sworn enemies this year — COVID-19 and the flu — it’s critical to do all you can to get the most protection possible. In response, vaccine manufacturers are upping production, too.
Arrange to get your flu shot ASAP
We’re ready to administer your flu shot soon and have an ample supply here at Nu Wave Medical Center. The earlier you get it, the more protected you’ll be. Remember, it takes a couple of weeks to build up your immunity after getting the shot. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.