It’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both spread this fall and winter. Healthcare systems could be overwhelmed treating both patients with flu and patients with COVID-19. This means getting a flu vaccine during 2020-2021 is more important than ever. While getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, there are many important benefits, such as:
- Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death.
- Getting a flu vaccine can also save healthcare resources for the care of patients with COVID-19.
The CDC recommends getting vaccinated before flu viruses begin spreading in your community, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February so getting vaccinated in October and into early November will offer the greatest protection.
You can get your vaccine at your primary care practice and at many local pharmacies. For a list of Cigna in-network pharmacies click here. BCBS VT members…to find an in-network pharmacy where you may be able to get a flu vaccine, click here. MVP members….click here. Staying in network for your vaccine will ensure that your vaccine is covered, and you don’t incur any unexpected costs. Most pharmacies offer flu vaccine on a walk-in basis, but it’s always a good idea to call ahead to make sure they have vaccine available and a staff person to administer the vaccine when you arrive.
This year it’s more important than ever for all of us to take action to keep ourselves and those around us safe and healthy and getting vaccinated is one of the best ways we can do that.