While COVID-19 may be your biggest health concern right now, that doesn’t mean you should forget about the flu.
It’s that time of year again, when everyone around you is coughing and sneezing. You can almost see the virus in the air.
But that’s why there are flu shots. And if you’re a student, faculty or staff member you can get one for free this Wednesday, Oct. 28. Pharmacy students will be administering shots under the SUB overhang and the library overhang between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Lauren LaForge, member of the American Pharmasists Association, said that it’s imperative for everyone to get their flu shot.
“When you get vaccinated, your immune system produces the antibodies to protect you from the viruses that are inside the vaccine,” LaForge said. “You have to get a flu shot annually because those antibody levels decline and new strains evolve.”
If you’re worried about having to go around a lot of people in order to get the vaccine, the vaccinators will be taking safety precautions.
LaForge said that vaccinators will be wearing masks and gloves, and they’ll be sterilizing before and after each patient. And patients will be socially distanced.
She also said that it won’t take very long to receive the shot, so you won’t have to take a lot of time out of your day to get vaccinated.
But if you are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 or the flu and think it’s too risky to go around others to get your vaccination, you can always go to a doctor’s office, clinic or pharmacy to get it.
According to the CDC, “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses, like flu, this fall and winter is more important than ever.”
They recommend getting vaccinated whenever you can, but it’s best to get vaccinated during September or October.
If you do get sick, the CDC said that the symptoms for flu and COVID-19 can be similar, so it’s important to get tested as soon as you can.
Don’t just assume you have one or the other, because you could also have both at the same time.
The CDC also said that it’s a misconecption that getting the flu vaccine will increase your chances of contracting COVID-19.
There was a report released earlier in the year which claimed there was association between the flu vaccination and four different types of coronavirus diseases, but that report was found to be incorrect.