With summer winding down and the start of fall next week, we are just beginning to enter that special time of year, magically known as flu season. Hey, the good times just keep right on rolling in 2020, don’t they? On the bright side, and do keep in mind that this is speculation, we may actually have a less severe flu season due to the masks and social distancing (and the gallons and gallons of hand sanitizer).
Either way, the reason I’m on your computer screen at the moment is to tell you, in no uncertain terms, YOU SHOULD GET A FLU SHOT (don’t look over your shoulder, I am, in fact, directing this to you). “But I never got one before…But I’ll get sick…But my Aunt Betsy got one and her arms and legs fell off…” Well, it’s as good a year as any to start. You won’t get sick. And, my sincere condolences to your Aunt Betsy, but that was not flu shot related.
Why am I being so pushy when you are just sipping your coffee in your PJ’s reading this blog? Well, it is more important this year than most due to the ongoing Covid issue. Should there be a surge of Covid cases in the fall/winter, AND a surge of flu cases, there definitely will not be enough resources for people that need them. We all think of the flu as such a common illness that we can sometimes forget it has big consequences for some people, especially with underlying health issues.
So, please, if you don’t have a medical reason to NOT get the flu shot, get the flu shot. Yes, you may get the flu and be fine, but the people you can spread it to may not do as well. Think of it as your good deed for the year. Also, your mask wearing, your social distancing and your meticulous hand washing, while somewhat tiresome at this point, will also do a lot to stop the spread of both flu and covid.
Most places, like CVS , Convenient MD, or Walgreens, will use your insurance to cover the cost of the flu shot. However, for the uninsured or the underinsured, (or just for the convenience factor) we have flu shots here for $35 for our patients. (And for one of my patients who will be getting their first flu shot this year, you know who you are, we are very proud of you and are looking forward to your appt!)
~Brooke Rieth, NP & Action Medicine team