In normal years, many people pass on getting a flu shot, because they don’t get the flu that often or when they do get it, they don’t suffer with bad symptoms. But this year is different.
This year, our hospitals and clinics are overwhelmed with patients who have COVID-19 and may not have sufficient space for those with more serious cases of the flu. This year, everyone is also at risk of getting COVID in addition to the flu, and the danger of contracting both at the same time could be severe even in the healthiest of patients.
In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of getting a flu shot in the year of COVID, dispel common myths about the flu shot, discuss who should have the vaccine and provide information on where to get yours safely and easily from Western Washington Medical Group.
How Preventing the Flu Helps the Fight Against COVID-19
Though a vaccine has not yet been released to prevent COVID-19, the flu shot is readily available and significantly reduces your chances of getting the flu. If you don’t contract the flu, you’re not in any danger of being hospitalized for it in a facility where you could be more easily exposed to COVID-19. Plus, if you were to get COVID with an already weakened system from the flu, you may suffer more complications. Put simply, you want your body in the best shape to fight off infection if you happen to contract the coronavirus.
In addition, even if you just have a mild case of the flu, but need to see a doctor, you’ll be putting a strain on healthcare resources that could otherwise be focused on patients in need of more serious attention.
Who should get the flu shot?
If you’re 6 months of age or older and not currently infected with COVID, you should get the flu shot. It’s even recommended for pregnant women and the elderly. If you question the safety of the flu shot, here are a few facts to set your mind at ease:
You cannot get sick from getting the flu shot. This is a common myth that simply doesn’t stand up to science. Flu shot formulas are derived from a single protein taken from the influenza virus or an inactivated virus, therefore disabling its ability to make the recipient of the shot sick. Aside from some soreness where the needle injected the vaccine, you should experience no side effects from getting a flu shot. Those with needle sensitivities may be able to take an alternative version of the shot in the form of a nasal spray.
You can get a vegan version of the flu shot. Some people opt out of the flu shot for allergy or ethical reasons because it contains egg protein, but for flu shot 2020, there are two licensed versions of the shot that are egg free. Learn more about these options on the CDC website.
Clinics that administer the flu shot are safe to visit. Because of the coronavirus, many are afraid to visit medical facilities for fear they’ll be in contact with people, items or surfaces that could have been exposed to a COVID-infected patient. At Western Washington Medical Group, the mask-wearing and sanitation guidelines set forth by state officials are strictly adhered to, making our treatment spaces very safe. In addition, the flu shot takes just a few minutes to administer, so visits only for this purpose are traditionally very brief.
Schedule a Flu Shot Appointment
All Western Washington Medical Group Family Practice locations are currently administering the flu shot. Schedule your flu shot appointment today at the location most convenient for you, or for more general inquiries, complete the form on this page. We’re here to help keep you safe.