Getting your flu shot has always been a great idea—in 2020, it’s more important than ever. Here’s what you need to know:
Avoid the chance of a double infection - It’s especially important to get vaccinated against influenza this year, as the influenza virus will be circulating at the same time as the coronavirus. If you get sick with the flu, it can lower your resistance to infection and weaken you physically. If you were to also contract the coronavirus, it could make your infection much worse.
Possibly weaken coronavirus symptoms - Early information from other countries shows that getting a flu shot may actually make a coronavirus infection less severe. It is early in the season, but we believe anything you can do to lower your risk of experiencing severe coronavirus and/or influenza symptoms is well worth doing.
Protect yourself - Your chance of getting the flu—which globally claims up to 500,000 lives each year—are greatly reduced by getting the flu shot. And even if you do get sick, serious complications are far less likely.
Protect those around you - Did you know you could spread it to others even if you never show a symptom? 20-30% of carriers never get sick themselves. So even if you’re not afraid of getting the flu yourself, get a shot for your spouse, your kids, your coworkers, or even the kid who bags your groceries.
But what if the shot gives me the flu? - The most stubborn myth about the flu shot is that it causes the flu. This is neither true nor possible. People who get sick after getting the shot were already exposed, or got exposed during the two weeks it takes for your immunity to build up.
What if I wait too long? - The CDC recommends getting your shot in October, but getting it any time during the flu season will provide you with more protection than you’ll have without it.
Are there any exceptions? What if I’m pregnant? - The latest recommendations from the CDC are that the only people who shouldn’t get a flu shot are:
Ok, I’m convinced. Where do I go? - Flu shots are free to anyone enrolled in a health plan, and widely available: from pharmacies, to doctor’s offices, to grocery stores. If you’re a Bright Health member and you’d like our help finding a convenient location, we’d love to help.
Give us a call at: 855-827-4448 or visit our website: https://brighthealthplan.com/contact-us for more information.
Here’s to a healthy, flu-free winter!
Harvard Health website: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and- conditions/10-flu-myths
CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/keyfacts.htm
Author: Stephanie Sample
October 8, 2020