Should I Consider Getting a Flu Shot This Season?
Are you wondering if you should get a Seasonal Flu shot this year? With so much discussion around the different variants of COVID-19, many people are asking MD Now if they should bother with a flu shot this year. Since both viruses spread through airborne exposure and can lead to serious illness or even death, in some cases, we believe getting a flu shot is always a good idea.
Yearly Protection: How Do Flu Vaccines Work?
The flu virus has surface proteins called “antigens.” Depending on the strain of flu, the antigens across the surface of the virus are very different.
The flu shot helps your immune system develop antibodies, which then block the virus from taking hold. For this to occur, the antibodies produced by the shot must align with the antigens on the surface of the virus. Therefore, to get protection, the 2021 flu shot is designed for this year’s flu strains.
Scientists observe circulating flu strains to determine which are most likely to spread during the upcoming season. Using this data, they create a vaccine that stands the greatest chance of making an impact.
Mutations and multiple strains circulating at once make this a challenging process. However, flu shots can reduce your risk of getting the flu by up to 60 percent. They’re a huge help for those with compromised immune systems, especially during a time when we’re already battling COVID-19 and other seasonal viruses. Other protective measures, such as masking and social distancing, also provide extra protection from both COVID-19 and the flu. Continuing with these measures is just as important as deciding when to get the flu shot.
Flu Shot 2021: What’s Different About This Year?
We managed to sail through last year’s flu season relatively unscathed. Experts believe that the mitigation efforts used to curb the spread of COVID-19 also worked to reduce rates of the flu. As we approach the winter months of 2021-2022, we are entering another critical phase.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased burnout and frustration in the face of lasting restrictions. This means some people will be more likely to stop following protective measures and risk further spread of both the flu and COVID-19. Hopefully, people will continue to take all safety efforts seriously.
There is a crossover between the groups that are vulnerable to either virus. Older individuals and those with preexisting conditions, such as asthma or heart disease, are more likely to suffer serious complications or death. The same is true for COVID-19. Unfortunately, another difference between this year and last is the delta variant of COVID-19. The rise of both flu and COVID-19 cases stands to make things even harder for healthcare workers.
Reasons to Choose: Why Should You Consider a Flu Shot This Year?
Along with making it less likely to contract the flu virus, the flu vaccine also offers some protection against severe illness. A CDC-supported study released in 2018 found the shot reduced the risk of severe illness and hospitalization among adults. A bad case of flu can be life-threatening, even in young people, so it’s not something you want to risk.
Less Symptom Confusion
Although rare, it’s possible to get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. It’s also easy to confuse one for the other. Being vaccinated for the flu will make it easier to figure out what’s going on if you begin developing symptoms. The flu and COVID-19 can present in similar ways. Knowing if you have the flu may make it less likely that you need to get tested for COVID-19.
Flu Shot Near Me: Where to Get the Flu Shot?
Are you wondering when to get the flu shot? Adults should consider getting their shot in October-November.
It’s important to acknowledge that the flu vaccine doesn’t protect against COVID-19. Be sure to get your COVID-19 vaccine if you haven’t yet.
If you’ve decided to move forward with the flu shot, your next step is figuring out where to get one. MD Now offers walk-in vaccination services at our more than 55 clinics across Florida. Come see us today!