After the pandemic due to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) completely changed our lives, we have all begun to question what are the appropriate guidelines that we must follow in order to take care of our health. One of them has to do with vaccines. As you know, there is a season each year where governments and different health authorities invite citizens to get some, especially the flu one. However, 2020 has come with countless surprises, so many of us feel a little confused and fearful about all the disease prevention measures.
There are people who do not even want to go to the hospital due to the fear of running into someone who could infect them. Is it your case or do you know someone? Do not worry! This is completely normal. We have never faced such a pandemic before, so it is natural to feel afraid and want to keep safe at home. But, returning to the subject of vaccines, certain things justify overcoming those thoughts and visit some places or do certain things even if we do not want to. Getting the flu shot is one of them.
Should I get the flu vaccine?
The answer is totally positive. If you've ever had the flu, then you know how harsh its symptoms can be. Therefore, preventing its contagion is very important, especially in these times where nobody wants to get sick, right? The 2020-2021 flu season will heighten in the fall, as it often does. However, this year we will not only have to deal with it but also with the increasing cases of COVID-19, which is why we will live a very complicated time of viruses and respiratory diseases.
As we mentioned, flu symptoms are very unpleasant. For that reason, many people try to avoid it at all costs. Nevertheless, getting vaccinated in 2020 is a far more caring act than a personal one. You can have a strong immune system that naturally protects you from it, but this is not the case for a large percentage of people.
When you get the vaccine, you are protecting others. And this is another factor that we must consider when making a decision. Those around you may not be able to fight the flu in the same way as you and, without having very acute symptoms, you can spread it. So, in all cases, it is better to bet on prevention.
The population at risk is made up mainly of young and old. However, this does not mean that the average adult cannot catch it. Besides, the flu can bring with it other health complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis. Therefore, getting the vaccine reduces the risk not only of getting sick but also reduces the chances of hospitalization and death.
When is the best time to get the flu vaccine?
Although very few know it, the flu vaccine is available long before the season begins. Some pharmacies begin to stock up at the end of August, although it is more common to find it in mid-September or early October. It takes your body about two weeks to develop antibodies after receiving the vaccine. However, experts recommend that the elderly should wear it in September or October, as they are more likely to reduce protection against influenza as the season progresses.
Likewise, it is important to emphasize that it is better to get it early than not receive it, so we advise you to start the procedures as soon as possible. October is the ideal month, as this reduces the chances of losing the effect of the vaccine before the season ends. However, in cases where it is difficult to obtain it in that period, it is better to make sure you receive it even if you think it is too quick.
You are not alarming for getting the vaccine early, even if it sounds like it. If you face comments of this type, try to remember that the flu vaccine can protect you against a few unpleasant days. Besides, you can also avoid catching a disease that can lead you directly to the hospital or become fatal. Don't wait until it's too late. While you think about going to get the vaccine, your relatives, co-workers, or close friends can get the flu. Also, if you have contact with them, the situation could get complicated.
What are the steps we should take to get vaccinated during the pandemic?
In addition to all the doubts we may have about influenza, many of us wonder if COVID-19 will affect in any way the vaccination processes this year. The answer to that is "yes." Although the recommendations remain the same, you must be very careful when you go to get the flu vaccine. Here are some tips:
- If you are going to get vaccinated in an office or hospital, remember to attend it with your mask and other tools that help you prevent infection.
- Likewise, follow all the protocols and measures to prevent the spread of the virus: keep your distance, don't touch your face, cover your mouth and nose when sneezing (use your forearm), among others.
- Go to rapid vaccination centers. Due to the current situation, health departments are working on setting up self-service clinics where people can get the flu vaccine quickly, thus reducing the time they spend with others.
- Don't panic. Specialists believe this will be a difficult flu season as people will confuse flu symptoms with COVID-19. This will cause health systems to collapse. That's why they are inviting the population to keep calm and try to avoid it. Pay careful attention to the symptoms, but do it without alarm.
2020 has been very difficult, but we can still overcome it victoriously. Reduce the risk of getting the flu by taking the vaccine on time! Remember that the key is to protect yourself and your family members. The flu vaccine will keep you from having a nasty season. Trust it!