Influenza (flu) season is approaching and this year it is even more important to protect yourself and your family. Influenza (flu) viruses are most common during the fall and winter months. The exact timing of the flu season varies but typically begins in October, peaks between December and February, and can last as late as May. It is possible that both the flu and COVID-19 will be spreading simultaneously, making it essential to get the flu shot vaccine this year.
How can you protect your family?
The best way to prevent flu is to get vaccinated, but healthy habits such as covering your cough and washing your hands frequently can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu.
Getting your annual influenza (flu) vaccine
- The influenza (flu) vaccine is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and older.
- It is especially important for people at high risk for flu complications such as young children, pregnant women, individuals that are age 65 or older, and adults with underlying medical conditions to get vaccinated to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.
- The best time to receive your influenza (flu) vaccine is by the end of October but any time you receive your vaccination will help to protect you and your family.
- Make an appointment with your primary care physician, pediatrician, local health department or your pharmacy to receive your influenza (flu) vaccine.
Why is it important during the COVID-19 pandemic to get your influenza (flu) vaccine?
- Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 can both result in serious respiratory illness that could result in hospitalization or death.
- It is likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both spread this fall and winter. Healthcare systems could be overwhelmed treating both patients with flu and patients with COVID-19.
- According to the CDC, becoming sick with the flu, COVID-19 or another respiratory illness at the same time is very possible.
- Receiving the influenza (flu) vaccine helps to keep you from getting the flu, reduces the severity of your illness if you do get the flu, and reduces your risk of a flu-associated hospitalization.
To learn more about how to protect your family and the benefits of the flu vaccine, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/vaccine-benefits.htm.