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The importance of a Flu Shot amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

By October 2, 2020Health

Thousands of Americans die from the flu, or influenza, each year and there is an added amount of concern about this coming flu season due to its potential to combine with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to create what could be a very difficult fall and winter for the nation.

The flu, or influenza, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs.

In a bad flu season- which peaks from December to February- 40 million to 50 million Americans may catch the flu, with some 800,000 requiring hospitalization. When that’s combined with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there is a concern that hospitals could become overrun and the medical system could reach its capacity.

That’s why health experts are strongly encouraging Americans across the country to get their flu shot. CareSouth Carolina is providing flu vaccinations at all of its medical clinics. Anyone can get a flu shot and you don’t have to be a patient of CareSouth Carolina to get the vaccine.

The CDC has also advised that anyone who has had COVID-19 can still get the flu vaccine as long as they are not in their current 14-day quarantine window.

“We are encouraging people to get their flu shots for this coming flu season,” CareSouth Carolina Chief of Nursing Tracie Thigpen said. “The CDC is recommending getting this shot to help combat the spread of respiratory illness during this fall and winter. The flu shot is important to help protect our vulnerable populations from illness.”

Flu vaccines prevent millions of illnesses, tens of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths every season, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

The Facts About Flu Shots (According to the CDC):

  • Flu vaccines are safe. Hundreds of millions of flu vaccines have been safely given to Americans for more than 50 years.
  • Vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy. A CDC multi-year, multi-country study showed it reduced the risk of flu hospitalization among pregnant women by 40% on average. Flu vaccination during pregnancy also helps protects babies from flu for the first several months after birth when they are too young to be vaccinated Flu vaccination can lower the risk of serious outcomes from heart disease and diabetes.
  • Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.
  • While some people who get vaccinated do still get sick, there is a growing amount of data showing that vaccination makes illness less severe, helping to prevent serious outcomes.

Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are used to make the vaccine.

To schedule an appointment with a CareSouth Carolina provider to receive the flu vaccination, please call 1-866-434-9818.