During flu season, getting your flu shot is important, but with Fall around the corner in 2021 and the COVID pandemic to contend with, it’s as important as ever to make sure you are as protected as ever.
Influenza is an acute, highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory passages. It can cause fever, severe aching, sore throat, fatigue, cough, and more depending on which of the three orthomyxoviruses you contract, which include influenza A, B, or C.
According to the CDC, the 2020-2021 flu season in the U.S. and around the world was unusually low. From September 28, 2020–May 22, 2021, in the United States, 1,675 (0.2%) of 818,939 respiratory specimens tested by U.S. clinical laboratories were positive for an influenza virus. This low rate may be contributed to measures put into place when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, which include social distancing, wearing a mask, remote working and learning, and reduced travel to name a few.
When is flu season?
The flu virus doesn’t just go away. It’s a year-round virus, but “flu season” in the United States lasts from October to May with the peak of flu season happening during the winter months from December to March. It’s not easy to determine how severe each flu season will be, which is another reason why getting your flu shot is important. Knowing when to get your flu shot can help you prepare for it and help you stay as safe as possible.
Should my whole family get a flu shot?
Each year, it is recommended that everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine, which includes pregnant people unless your primary care provider advises against it. If your child is under six, they are considered at high risk of serious illness from the flu but are too young to receive the vaccination. Instead, people who care for these young children should be vaccinated.
If your child is attending school, be sure to check your state laws establishing vaccination requirements for school children attending both public and private schools as well as daycares.
When should I get the flu vaccine?
According to the CDC, September and October are typically good times to be vaccinated. It is recommended for everyone to be vaccinated by the end of October. Because protection against the virus may decrease over time, it is not recommended for people ages 65 and over to get vaccinated early on like July or August. However, children are able to get vaccinated as soon as the flu vaccine is available, including July or August. For those over 65, there is a “high-dose” vaccine available.
Is it a cold, or is it the flu?
Where do I get my flu shot?
You can get your flu vaccine at either Compassion Health Care, Inc. medical site. For Caswell Family Medical Center in Yanceyville, please call (336) 694-9331. For James Austin Health Center in Eden, please call (336) 864-2795.
How can I make sure I’m protecting myself from the flu?
Just like the measures we have put into place for COVID, those same measures can help protect you against the flu.
- Stay at home if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces often that are commonly used.
- Avoid touching your eyes, face, and mouth as germs often spread this way.
- Distance yourself from those with flu-like symptoms.
- The CDC recommends that people stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities.