Flu season looms in the shadow of COVID-19. Have you gotten your flu shot?
Guest Blog by ConnectiCare
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has shined a light on this fact: healthier people are often better able to battle disease. This year, more than ever, doctors say you should get a flu shot between now and early November.
The flu shot can’t keep you from getting—and won’t increase your chances of getting—the coronavirus (COVID-19). It will, though, help protect yourself, family, and acquaintances from getting sick with influenza, or the flu, a potentially severe respiratory infection.
The flu shot protects more than you.
Anyone can get the flu, but some people have a higher-risk of developing complications. They include:
- Adults 65 or older
- Pregnant women
- Young children (especially under the age of 2)
- People living with chronic conditions, including heart disease, asthma, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and certain neurologic conditions in children
You may not fall into one of those “high risk” categories. But chances are you could come in contact with someone who does, even while social distancing.
Preventing the flu is a lot like preventing COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offer tips to help prevent the flu at home, at work, and at school. They include:
- Get a flu shot if you’re over 6 months old.
- Wash your hands often. Use a hand sanitizer with alcohol if soap and water aren’t handy.
- Clean and sanitize frequently-touched surfaces where you live and work, especially if someone is sick.
- Make sure you get enough sleep, stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet, and stay physically active.
- If you are sick, stay home.
Do masks help prevent the spread of flu? Many of the precautions we take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19—wearing masks, frequent handwashing, social distancing—may also help prevent the spread of other illnesses, like the flu. Following CDC guidelines and getting a flu shot each year put you in the best position to avoid the flu or at least lessen the impact of its symptoms.
Mark your calendars, get your flu shot!
The CDC recommends you get a flu shot by the end of October. Over half of our members surveyed said they get one in October.* Here’s how you can do it:
- Call your doctor’s office for an appointment.
- Walk into a pharmacy near you. Bring your ConnectiCare member ID card. Search for local pharmacies.
- Sign up for a flu shot clinic at work, if available.