Information You Need: Get your flu shot!

We are entering the 2020-2021 flu season in the midst of a pandemic and it is more important than ever to receive a flu vaccine. Here are just a few reasons:

  1.  In Arizona, over 4,000 people are hospitalized for complications from the flu each year. Therefore, hospitalized flu cases added to the number of hospitalized COVID-19 cases will further stress an already overwhelmed healthcare system.
  2. If someone were to be hospitalized for the flu, their risk of developing COVID-19 would increase as they would be in a high-risk healthcare setting. 
  3. Experts are unsure exactly how a simultaneous infection of the flu and COVID-19 would affect the body.
  4. Flu symptoms can be very similar to symptoms of COVID-19, as they are both respiratory viruses. So the medical equipment needed to assist severe cases (e.g., supplemental oxygen, ventilators) would also be similar and could exacerbate medical equipment shortages
Who SHOULD get the flu vaccine?
Anyone over the age of 6 months should receive a flu vaccine including:
– Pregnant women
– Older adults over 65 years of age should consider getting the “High Dose” version of the vaccine, talk to your provider for more information
– Individuals with chronic medical conditions
– Health care workers and their families
Who should talk to their healthcare provider BEFORE getting the flu vaccine?
– Children younger than 6 months old
– Individuals with a severe chicken egg allergy (those with mild chicken egg allergies should check with their physician), there may be an alternative vaccine for those who have an allergy
– Individuals who have had a severe reaction to the flu vaccine in the past
– Those with a current illness accompanied by a fever should wait until the fever and other symptoms subside to get a flu vaccine
Where can I get a flu shot?
To locate a flu shot clinic near you:
– Contact your primary care provider as they may have vaccines available at their practice
– Contact your insurance company to find out if there are any in-network clinic preferences 
– Visit the “Stop the Spread AZ” website
– Dial 211 in Arizona (call 1-877-211-8661 if outside of Arizona)
– Call your local pharmacy or grocery store to see if they offer flu shots, you may also visit their websites to find out more information, locations, or to make an appointment
When going to receive a flu shot, it is especially important to:
– Take COVID-19 safety precautions including: wearing a cloth face covering, maintaining physical distancing, and avoiding crowded, poorly ventilated spaces
– Be sure to take your temperature before going to receive a flu shot. If you have a temperature over 100, wait until your fever subsides before getting the vaccine
Frequently Asked Question: Can the flu shot give me the flu?
Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding the flu shot is that getting the vaccine can “give you flu.” In fact, the flu virus is “inactive” which means that the virus particles are dead and thus cannot spread the virus. Some may feel mild symptoms after receiving the vaccine because their body is developing the antibodies needed to protect them from the flu.
Visit this link for more information about getting the flu vaccine.

Comments are closed.