Maybe you get the flu shot every year or maybe you’re one of many who shy away from all things needle related. Regardless, if there’s a year to face your fears, this is it. There are many reasons to get an influenza (flu) shot, however, with COVID-19 still spreading, getting the flu vaccine in 2020-2021 is more important than ever.
But is it really that important…?
According to the CDC, in years that the flu vaccine virus has been similar to circulating flu viruses, flu vaccines have reduced the risk of having to go to the doctor because of the flu by 40-60%. While that’s a plus during any flu season, avoiding the flu this year means saving healthcare resources at clinics for those with COVID-19!
Another reason to get the flu shot this year, according to the Huck Institutes of Life Sciences at PennState, is that both COVID-19 and the flu have similar early symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat). Getting the flu vaccine will lower your chances of getting the flu, therefore lowering your chances of mistaking flu symptoms for COVID-19. Within your community, that helps to avoid needless COVID-19 testing and overall flu infections.
What about COVID-19?
With COVID-19 in the mix, there are a lot of unknowns. In an article for Public Health Insider, Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle and King County, said “We also don’t know what the combination of COVID-19 and influenza will mean for people who get infected at the same time or close together, but there is concern that the combination could lead to serious illnesses.” He went on to encourage everyone six months and older to get a flu vaccine, especially people who have increased risk for severe influenza and any essential workers who come into contact with many people on a regular basis.
How do I get the shot?
All AFC Urgent Care clinics have seasonal flu vaccines in stock and ready for you. Our four-strain vaccine is only $35 with self-pay and typically is free with most insurances. The manufacturer recommends our vaccine for ages 4 and older. Talk to one of our providers regarding children under 4 years old. In addition, our Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Northwest Portland, and Oregon City clinics also have the high dose vaccine for those 65+ years of age.
Don’t just cross your fingers that you won’t catch the flu this year, take active steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. Schedule your appointment today.