This year, it's more important than ever that you get your flu vaccine early for seasonal flu. With Covid-19 still active and a potential resurgence in the fall and winter, you need all the protection you can get. While the seasonal flu vaccine does not protect you from Covid-1
But making it a priority to get a flu vaccine is not only helping to preserve valuable care resources for others, it is also good for protecting you. Remember that seasonal flu can be a killer and claim thousands of lives each year. In addition, health experts believe that it is possible to get seasonal flu and Covid-19 at the same time, so you want to prevent your own personal "twindemic". Although a vaccine is not an iron-clad guarantee that you will still not get a seasonal bug, flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu-like illness, hospitalization and death. In other words, if you get the flu, the vaccine will make your illness less serious and make you less likely to end up in the hospital. This is especially important for people at high risk and people with underlying health conditions.
This year, health officials recommend getting your vaccines early, preferably in September or October before the flu season begins. But if you miss this time frame, should you still be vaccinated? Health representatives say yes, until January.
Here is the CDC's recommendation to be vaccinated:
- All over 6 months of age
- Those at high risk, such as adults over 65 and people with underlying medical conditions (cancer, heart disease, asthma – see more )
- Pregnant women
- Caretakers exposed to vulnerable groups
- Healthcare professionals
Be aware that there are different vaccines recommended for different populations. There are special vaccines for young children and higher dosage vaccines for adults 65 years and older. This year, there is a vaccine for the elderly that has been updated to protect against four strains of influenza, rather than three as in previous years.
Read more about which vaccine is best for you at the CDC. Catalog
Where to get flu shots
In the past, many people got flu shots at work, but with the advent of teleworking during the pandemic, most people will be alone this year. There are many places to get a shot, such as pharmacies, clinics and doctor's offices – and some communities may even set up transit flu vaccine sites. Use Vaccine Finder to find places near you based on the type of vaccine you need. Remember to check if the facility goes in or by appointment and make sure all necessary Covid-19 health procedures and costs are reviewed. If you have private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, you probably only need to cover one copy, but if you do not have insurance, shop because prices can vary.
Here is more information and more flu resources: