Posted on November 16, 2020 at 6:30 pm by Clay Curtin
It’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both spread this fall and winter. This means getting a flu vaccine during this year is more important than ever. While getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, there are many important benefits, such as preventing illness, medical visits, hospitalizations and possibly death.
Getting a flu shot may not totally prevent the disease, but it can lessen its effects and minimize your chances of getting seriously ill and being hospitalized.
There are many benefits and scientific studies on why getting the flu vaccine will be beneficial to you:
- Flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor’s visits each year. During 2018-2019, flu vaccination prevented an estimated 4.4 million influenza illnesses and 2.3 million influenza-associated medical visits
- Flu vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor with flu by 40 percent to 60 percent
- Flu vaccines reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission
- Flu vaccines have reduced the risk of flu-associated hospitalizations among older adults on average by about percent
- Flu vaccination reduced flu-associated hospitalization by 41 percent and flu-associated emergency department visits by half among children (aged 6 months to 17 years old)
- It is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions
- Flu vaccination also has been shown to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes and chronic lung disease
- Flu vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy.
- Vaccination reduces the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection in pregnant women by about one-half
- A number of studies have shown that in addition to helping to protect pregnant women, a flu vaccine given during pregnancy helps protect the baby from flu for several months after birth, when he or she is not old enough to be vaccinated
- Flu vaccine can be lifesaving in children
- Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older adults and people with certain chronic health conditions
Despite the many benefits, only about half of Americans get an annual flu vaccine and flu continues to cause millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths. Many more people could be protected if more would get vaccinated. We can all do our part this year and protect our community by getting a flu shot.
Learn more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)