Influenza season is here, don’t delay getting vaccinated

Last year, the flu season was not an impactful event. That’s because Americans wore masks, schools were closed, many workplaces allowed or recommended working from home, and maintained a 6-foot social distance to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

However, this year is different, as many children are hospitalized due to coronavirus spread from exposure in public spaces and schools. As the Delta strain is shaking the United States once again, it would be good to get vaccinated against the flu in advance and build up immunity.

Especially those who are high risk and vulnerable to flu: such as folks over 65 years old, those with chronic health conditions like asthma, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and chronic kidney diseases. These folks need to get the flu shot or sprays as soon as possible as recommended by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to lower the risk of the impact of flu.

For 2021-2022, CDC recommends the use of any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine as an option for vaccination this season.

These include:

  • Flu shots that are made with inactivated viruses.
  • One flu shot that is made without influenza viruses.
  • A live attenuated influenza vaccine, which is given by nasal spray.

Flu vaccination has important benefits. It can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as hospitalizations and deaths.

Different flu vaccines are approved for use in different groups of people.

There are flu shots approved for use in children as young as 6 months old and flu shots approved for use in adults 65 years and older. Flu shots also are recommended for pregnant people and people with certain chronic health conditions.

The nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for use in non-pregnant people who are 2 years through 49 years of age. People who are pregnant and people with certain medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray flu vaccine.

There are many vaccine options to choose from. The most important thing is for all people 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine every year; although most folks are eligible and should receive the vaccine, there are those who actually cannot take the vaccine, and they will need herd immunity to protect them.

Flu vaccines are covered by most insurances and if you go to the local pharmacy, you should be able to receive one based on availability.

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