Even if you are healthy, rarely get sick, or recover easily from illness, getting a flu shot can prevent the flu from harming the vulnerable people in our lives. It’s a win-win to protect yourself and those around you from contracting the flu or reduce the severity of its effects.
Symptoms of flu are similar to COVID-19, adding complexity should you get an infection. Vaccinations provide significant reduction in severity of infection and reduce your chances of spreading infection to others, for both flu and COVID-19.
Flu season starts in October and extends to April. How can you prevent getting or spreading the flu?
- Get a flu shot
- Regular hand washing to prevent transfer of germs to yourself or others
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes
- Masking if you have symptoms of a cold
- Maintaining social distancing of 2M (6 feet) where possible
Fortunately, the things you do to protect yourself will also protect others. The goal is to prevent you from getting the flu in the first place. Getting your family vaccinated for the flu is the best way to protect them. Annual flu shots are recommended from 6 months of age to the elderly. The sooner you get a flu shot (October), the better.
The same physical distancing precautions we use to prevent transmission of COVID-19 will also reduce your chance of getting the flu or transmitting it to others, another win-win.
Since flu season may coincide with an increase of COVID-19 cases, getting a flu shot has never been more important. Getting the flu vaccine will reduce the chance of a hospital visit at a time where health resources will be stretched. Did you know you can get the flu vaccine at the same time as a COVID vaccine? Ask your pharmacist about getting both.
Certain populations are at higher risk of flu complications and require extra care in avoiding people who have the flu:
- Young children
- Pregnant women
- People with chronic conditions affecting lungs, kidneys, liver, or on immune lowering medications
Your pharmacist can help you access flu shots. In some provinces, pharmacists may perform influenza vaccinations, providing the convenience of drop-in or injections by appointment. Make a call to your PharmaChoice pharmacy to get peace of mind and protect the people around you.