Beware, flu season is coming.
This yr may very well be notably sickly: Though doctors don’t but understand how lethal this pressure of influenza might be, it is going to begin infecting folks simultaneously instances of the coronavirus will possible surge.
If social distancing isn’t adopted, this may very well be “the worst fall, from a public health perspective, we’ve ever had,” stated CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield.
Some have dubbed the co-happening of the coronavirus pandemic and flu season a “twin-demic,” and for good cause: from 2018 to 2019, 35.5 million folks had been contaminated with the flu, and over 34,000 folks died from the virus, according to the CDC.
“We do not want to have an increased number of patients with flu-like or COVID-like symptoms swarming the clinics or the hospitals, [adding to] the capacity of what we have going on right now,” Dr. TingTing Wong, a major care doctor and infectious illness specialist at NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group Brooklyn, informed The Post.
That’s why it’s particularly essential to get vaccinated now.
Here is every little thing you want to find out about getting the flu shot this yr.
When is one of the best times to get a flu shot and when will they be accessible?
“We always recommend getting the flu shot early, that’s in September, October. That’s because the flu season comes around in October. There’s no exact date, just when it gets cold,” One Medical supplier Dr. Michael Richardson, informed The Post. “It peaks between December and February and it can honestly last until May, it usually starts to beat out around March.”
“It takes about two weeks for the immunity to kick in,” suggested Wong. “So it’s highly recommended to get the flu shot before the season starts.”
Anyone over the age of 6 months ought to get the shot. For these over 65, a higher-dose vaccination is on the market to bolster their weaker immune programs.
Should I get a flu shot this yr?
Yes. “This year it’s highly important, because of the pandemic,” stated Wong.
“We want to prevent at least one deadly virus this year,” stated Richardson. “The health care system is already so strained with COVID. Having another epidemic on top of that is not going to help the health care system at all.”
In addition to maintaining as many hospital beds open for COVID-19 sufferers who may have them, getting the flu can really make you extra weak to the coronavirus. “Say you recover from the flu, but a week later you get COVID-19. Your lungs are not fully recovered yet, and it may increase your risk of something much more serious,” he stated.
For these with pre-existing circumstances like diabetes, coronary heart illness, bronchial asthma, and COPD, it’s particularly essential to get the shot.
Where can I get a flu shot?
Flu pictures are actually broadly accessible. You can get them at most physician’s places of work.
At main pharmacies like CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens, you may normally get vaccinated without an appointment.
Urgent care amenities, like CityMD and One Medical, additionally supply the shot.
How a lot do flu pictures value? Can I get one at no cost?
For these with insurance coverage, normally, the flu shot might be free, irrespective of where you get it.
For these with out insurance coverage, the price of the vaccination varies by the location however can vary between $30 and $75.
How efficient are flu pictures and how long do they final?
“It lasts about six months,” stated Richardson, which is why it’s essential to get vaccinated now so that you’re lined in the course of the peak months.
There are a number of strains of influenza that unfold yearly. “The flu vaccine is what health-care professionals think will be the top three or four strains, that’s why some years it works well or not so well,” stated Richardson. “We don’t know how well the flu vaccine is going to work this year.”
But that doesn’t imply try to be much less eager to get it. “It’s still possible that you can catch influenza after having had the flu shot. But if you have had the flu shot and you develop antibodies, you generally get a much less severe course of influenza,” stated Wong. “You will not get as sick” as you’ll have without it in your system, he defined.
Can you get the flu from getting a flu shot?
“I cannot say this enough: The flu shot cannot give you the flu,” stated Richardson. “The flu vaccine itself doesn’t have any live virus to it, so it can’t give you the flu.”
What are the attainable negative effects of the flu shot?
However, some folks will really feel “flu-like” signs like fatigue and spike a small fever for about two days after they’re vaccinated. This is regular — and once more, this doesn’t imply they have the flu.
“This is your body responding to a foreign substance and sort of reacting to what it’s received,” stated Wong.
Richardson stated some folks will develop a bit of little bit of redness on the injection website.
“The majority of people that get it are high quality,” he stated.
How does the coronavirus differ from the flu?
Confusingly, there are lots of similarities between the coronavirus and the flu. Both are respiratory viruses that unfold via droplets.
“The classic symptoms for flu are fever, body aches, cough and other repository symptoms like shortness of breath,” defined Richardson. “COVID has all of those and more, like sore throat, rashes, we’ve seen the significant strain on the heart, the lungs, the brain.”
It’s additionally attainable to get the flu and COVID-19 on the similar time.
If you begin experiencing flu or coronavirus signs, it’s essential to contact your physician, self-isolate, and put on a mask at the house.
Is it protected to go to a physician’s workplace to get the flu shot?
Don’t be afraid to head to a health-care facility. “Hospitals and primary care offices are some of the safest spaces,” stated Richardson. “Because we’re making sure that we’re consistently following infectious disease protocols and social distancing.”
No matter where you get vaccinated, make certain your supplier is training social distancing and requiring folks to put on masks, added Richardson. “Do your own risk assessment.”
How are you able to shield your self from the flu?
You can keep protected from the flu the identical methods during which you’re defending your self from the coronavirus. “If you’re in a position to social distance, wash palms, cowl your mouth once you sneeze and cough, these are the preventions from influenza,” stated Wong.
“That’s a best-case scenario, reducing the flu and COVID through the same process,” stated Richardson.
Don’t lean on these measures alone, although, added Wong. “It’s still important to get yourself protected as much as you can. Get the flu shot to protect yourself even further.”