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The flu vaccine and COVID-19: Why you should get your shot this year

In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter. The 2021/2022 flu season is officially on the horizon – happening while we try to contain the coronavirus.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness – causing mild to severe illness. Symptoms can last up to 10 days. And they can be similar to symptoms of COVID-19.

To stay on top of your health, pay special attention to fevers, headaches, muscle aches, and back and joint pain. Plus, for peace of mind, talk to a doctor about the difference between each condition. (Your annual wellness visit is the perfect time to ask.)

To protect yourself, and everyone else… get your flu shot. With COVID-19 still spreading, the flu vaccine is more important than ever. Another spike in illnesses could put even more strain on our health care system. So, do your part to reduce the risk.

Here’s what you need to know about the flu shot:

  • A flu shot keeps you healthy. What’s one of the most common myths? We think it’s: “The flu shot can make you sick!” Despite what you may have heard, the live flu virus is NOT in the vaccine. And it’s actually proven to keep you (and others) from getting it. If you do come in contact with influenza, the flu shot will make your symptoms less severe.

  • A flu shot is safe and effective. Recent research, for example, shows flu shots prevented approximately 6.2 million flu illnesses, 91,000 flu hospitalizations, and 5,700 flu deaths in the U.S… in just one year.

  • A flu shot is recommended for anyone 6 months or older. The vaccine is especially important for children, people over 65 and anyone with a pre-existing condition, like asthma, diabetes or heart disease. Pregnant women should also get the shot, because it protects both mom and baby (after birth) from the flu.

  • You need a flu shot every flu season. Since the flu virus changes every flu season, so does the vaccine. Get your shot as soon as it’s available, because it takes about 10 days to build up your immunity. (Note: Even if you don’t get it early, it’s worth getting whenever you can.)

Take precautions and practice good hygiene. Many of the things we are doing to protect against COVID-19 also work for the flu.
  • Wear a mask

  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth

  • Practice social distancing

  • Stay home if you are sick

Here at HAP, we offer FREE flu shots to all our members. To get yours, show your HAP ID card at your doctor’s office. Or, visit a HAP-affiliated location, like a…

  • Henry Ford Health System Medical Center

  • CVS, Walgreens or Rite Aid pharmacy

  • Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Meijer, Target, Save-Mor, VG’s or Spartan store pharmacy

  • Neighborhood pharmacies

Getting a flu shot may look different than it has in the past. All of our health system, physician and pharmacy partners have taken measures to keep you safe. For example, many are offering flu shots by appointment only.

Questions? Our experts have answers. Contact us in the way that’s most convenient. Or talk to your primary care doctor at any time.

Categories: Get Healthy