According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 are likely to spread this fall and winter.
Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death. Further, getting a flu vaccine can also preserve healthcare resources for the care of patients with COVID-19.
“Getting a flu vaccine is now more important than ever,” says Stephan Alkins, MD. “While a flu shot will not protect against COVID-19, the vaccine offers many protective benefits.”
Flu vaccination can prevent you from getting sick with the flu. The flu vaccine prevents millions of cases of illness and flu-related doctor’s visits each year by 40 to 60%.
Flu vaccination can reduce hospitalizations. Flu shots prevent tens of thousands of hospitalizations of children, working age adults and older adults.
Flu vaccination is vital for people with chronic health conditions. The flu vaccine is an important illness preventive tool in those with diabetes, cardiac conditions and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), among others.
Flu vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy. The vaccine reduces the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection in pregnant women by about one-half and decreases a woman’s risk of being hospitalized with the flu by 40%. Protection is also extended to a baby for several months after birth.
Flu vaccine can be life-saving in children. A 2017 study showed that flu vaccination can significantly reduce a child’s risk of dying from flu.
Vaccination reduces severity of flu illness. Vaccination reduces deaths, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization of flu patients.
Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you. Despite the many benefits offered by flu vaccination, only about half of Americans get an annual flu vaccine, says the CDC. “We are encouraging as many people as possible to be vaccinated against influenza,” says Dr. Alkins.
Learn more about flu vaccination at cdc.gov.
Crouse News is reported by members of our Communications Team.