Last year’s relatively mild flu season is likely indicative of two things: The vaccine produced was a good match for the prevalent strains of influenza, and this year’s season could be a doozy. The latter point would be borne out by history, which shows that “good” flu seasons are most often followed by “bad” flu seasons. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions continues to hammer home the message that early vaccination is strongly advised for all patients over 6 months of age, especially pregnant women, people over 50, people with chronic diseases, and healthcare personnel. When counseling urgent care patients on getting the flu shot—especially those who may reluctant for any reason—stress the following:
— 2020 COVID-19 Update—
- Immunity takes around 2 weeks to build after getting a shot.
- Despite myths to the contrary, people cannot “get the flu” from having a flu shot. People who get the flu after having a shot are most likely to have been exposed prior to vaccination.
- Side effects, which seldom occur at all, are typically mild and limited to low-grade fever and mild body aches for a day or two.
- While young, healthy adults are least likely to experience severe consequences from getting the flu, they can pass infection along to other who are at greater risk, such as young children, the elderly, and anyone with a compromised immune system. (In other words, they should get the shot not only to protect themselves, but their loved ones.)
We are in the middle of testing as many people as we can during this time. RMUC has 75 tests/day, as of this update, and the state is actively managing this epidemic. This will feel like the flu to young and healthy adults, but this is not to be approached like the flu. For many with preexisting conditions and the elderly, this virus causes lots of respiratory problems and has proven to be more lethal than the flu.
Please protect those in high risk conditions. If you cannot be near to your aging parents, consider medical alert systems
to help them get help when they need. Considering sending them an accurate thermometer
and have them take measurements daily. These two devices may help to save their lives.