VNA Answer Nurse: Do I Need A Flu Shot?
Every year I hear about the flu shot, but I sometimes forget to get one. Do I really need to get my flu shot each year?
Q: I was vaccinated for COVID-19, do I still need to get my flu shot?
A: Absolutely! What’s more, being ill with the flu may make you more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 or the Delta variant. In addition, getting a flu vaccine lessens the burden of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths on the health care system, conserving scarce medical resources for the care of people with Covid-19 or the Delta variant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Q: When should I get a flu vaccine?
A: As soon as they’re available in your area. Flu season can start as early as October, but the peak of flu season is in the winter. Take into account that it takes about two weeks for immunity from the vaccine to take effect. As the adage goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Q: Is there more than one flu shot?
A: There are a few different types of flu shot, and you should research what is best for you. For seniors aged 65 years or older, the high dose flu vaccine is the best option for the flu shot as it has four times the amount of antigens in it.
Q: I’m pregnant. Is it safe for me to get a flu vaccine?
A: Yes! According to a 2018 study by the CDC, a flu shot reduced a pregnant woman’s risk of being hospitalized with influenza (the flu) by an average of 40 percent. Please note that pregnant women should get a flu shot and not the nasal spray flu vaccine. Studies have also shown that a flu vaccine given during pregnancy helps protect the baby from the flu for several months after birth, when the baby is not old enough to be vaccinated.
Q: How dangerous is the flu, really?
A: According to the CDC, since 2010 the flu has caused between nine million – 45 million illnesses, between 140,000-810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually. The flu can be dangerous for our senior population who is at an increased risk of getting sick.
Q: Is it necessary – or safe – for my child to get a flu vaccine?
A: Yes, and yes. A 2017 study by the CDC showed that flu vaccination can significantly minimize a child’s risk of dying from the flu. You can get a vaccine for your child as young as six months old.
This information is for educational purposes. Please consult your physician for any medical issues. The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) is committed to bringing trusted and quality home health and private care to Brevard County patients from Titusville to Barefoot Bay.
To learn more about VNA, call 321-752-7550 or visit www.vnatc.com.