As seasonal influenza is approaching and COVID-19 is still lurking, getting a flu shot is needed more than ever.
The global health crisis COVID-19 has affected millions of lives, and as of writing, the world breaches the 30 million mark, with the U.S. leading the tally. As many nations are waiting for the vaccine, what we can do for now is to practice and observe minimum public health and safety measures.
Aside from these health and safety measures that are already in place, we need this kind of vaccine more than ever, and that is to get a flu shot. According to Hellomonaco, Prince Albert II recommends the public get vaccinated against the flu. The goal is simple: minimize the spread of seasonal flu while COVID-19 is still present.
Flu shot is recommended while waiting for COVID-19 vaccine
As we all know, there are similarities between the symptoms of both the seasonal flu and COVID-19: coughing, fever, body pain, fatigue. Getting a flu shot will at least help people who are working in the medical field in lessening their worries of people catching a COVID-19. Given that the two are caused by different viruses, it somehow provides proper treatment for patients that have COVID.
The flu vaccine lessens requirements in Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests. Eliminating some PCR tests reduces the time finding out whether a person has COVID when they have the flu. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), though the flu vaccine cannot prevent people from getting COVID-19, people must avail of the flu shot in order not to infect others with seasonal flu.
Embracing this new season
“It is best to get vaccinated around this time of year, between late September to October,” according to Dr. Josh Alder, the chief clinical officer for UCSF Health. According to Adler, the development of an immune response usually takes two weeks. And having a flu vaccine will generally protect people from the entire season.
In terms of effectiveness, it depends on the scientists’ prediction on the circulation of strains during that season. It ranges from 40% to 60% effectiveness.
If everyone gets vaccinated, there will be a huge difference in our hospital capacity. Given that most of the countries with higher cases, with almost full capacity in hospital beds, getting a flu vaccine would somehow help the health facilities make more rooms for other persons with illness, especially those who have COVID-19.
There is no study that reveals that having influenza and COVID-19 can worsen the illness, but one thing is for sure, they are both attacking the lungs. Influenza can make you more susceptible to infection.
COVID-19 is still active, and the flu season is here. The best time to get a flu shot today is as an additional layer of protection.
Images sued courtesy of The Infographics Show/YouTube Screenshot.