The 2020 Flu Shot – Why and When?
Posted by Century Support Services on Sep 29, 2020
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing into the fall, all eyes are on the 2020 flu season. Experts warn that the combination of COVID-19 and a flu outbreak could put major strain on our health care system. Learn why it is important to get a flu shot in 2020 and when the best time to get one is.
What’s the Benefit of the Flu Shot in 2020?
The flu is a common respiratory virus. Although flu virus is around year round, outbreaks tend to be worse in the winter. The purpose of the flu shot is to increase your body’s immunity against the virus. This decreases the likelihood that you will contact the flu and makes the symptoms milder if you do get it.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, getting a flu shot is more important than ever. Many symptoms of the flu overlap with those of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, runny nose, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Health officials are worried that if the flu season is bad this year, health care facilities could become overrun. The combination of flu cases and COVID-19 cases could make the coronavirus pandemic even worse.
The Best Time to Get a Flu Shot in 2020
In typical years, people had theories about when the best time to get a flu shot is. Because the immunity from the flu vaccine only lasts several months, some people prefer to get it early to avoid the early wave of flu cases. Others prefer to wait until just before the holidays to have a better chance of being protected through the spring. In reality, there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that one time is better than another.
Experts say that the best time to get a flu shot in 2020 is as soon as possible, such as September or October. With COVID-19 cases still elevated in the United States, it is important to get early immunity against the flu. This could prevent the flu season from becoming nasty, as more people will be protected against the virus. Some public health officials warn that there could be shortages of the flu vaccine if more people than usual try to get one. That means if you are immunocompromised or are in a high risk category, it’s smart to get your flu shot early this year.
How to Get a Flu Vaccine This Year
Wondering how to go about getting a flu shot? The good news is that if you have health insurance, a flu vaccine is free! Simply go to your primary care provider and request one. Call ahead to make sure there are vaccines available, and go as soon as is convenient to ensure you’re doing your part to stop the spread of flu. You can also use the helpful Vaccine Finder site to find a vaccination site near you.