These days, the key respiratory illness everyone is worrying about is COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that is spreading throughout the U.S. like wildfire. However, that does not mean the flu should no longer be on your radar. Influenza is still a threat, and you should still get your flu shot this year. In fact, getting the flu shot may be even more important this year than in years past! Here are a few reasons why it's so important to get your flu vaccine in the era of COVID-19.
You don't want to get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.
Obviously, you do not want to get the flu or COVID-19, but getting the two illnesses together would be an outright recipe for disaster. Even if you are in good overall health and have a pretty strong immune system, expecting your body to fight off both of these viruses at once is a lot to ask. You're more likely to end up hospitalized or seriously ill with COVID-19 if you also have the flu. So, by getting the flu shot, you are greatly reducing your risk of the flu and your risk of getting both diseases concurrently.
You don't want to get the flu and have to go through testing to see if you do have COVID-19.
If you do not get the flu shot and you do come down with the flu, it may be some time before you figure out that the flu is really what you have. The symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu can be similar, especially in the early stages. You will probably need to get a COVID-19 test to rule that out, and until you get the results of that test, you will have to isolate to avoid spreading the disease to others. It's better to just get vaccinated and reduce your risk of getting sick in the first place.
You don't want to over-burden the hospital system.
Say you do get sick with the flu. You may require a prescription for an antiviral drug, and you may even need to be hospitalized. Hospitals have limited beds right now due to COVID-19, and pharmacies are really busy trying to administer tests and vaccines. You don't want to burden the system any more than you have to, so get your flu shot.
Getting a flu shot is the responsible thing to do for your own health and the health of the community. Talk to your doctor to learn more.Share
7 January 2021
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