The CDC says “the best way to reduce your risk from seasonal flu and its potentially serious complications is to get vaccinated every year.”
Seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue through May. Getting vaccinated is a yearly ritual for many people, but even if you don’t usually get the flu shot, you should consider getting it this year. Especially because of the COVID pandemic, health officials are urging everyone to do everything they can to reduce their risk of getting sick.
The seasonal flu vaccine is made each year to protect against the specific strains of flu that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. It takes about two weeks for the body to develop immunity after vaccination, so it’s best to get vaccinated early in the season, before flu activity begins in your community.
Reducing your chances of getting the flu
In addition to getting a seasonal flu vaccine, there are other things you can do to reduce your risk of getting sick with flu:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated with flu viruses.
Who should get vaccinated?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.
Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. These people include:
- Children younger than 5 years old, but especially children younger than 2 years old
- Pregnant women (and women up to two weeks post-partum)
- People 65 years and older
- People with certain chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease
- People who live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
- People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from influenza
- American Indians and Alaska Natives
- Morbidly obese people (BMI of 40 or higher)
Schedule an appointment
If you have any questions about the flu vaccine, call our offices and make an appointment to talk to your healthcare professional. Call us at 1-800-859-0085.