“Ouch, that hurt! Why did you do that?!?” — that’s what my 5 year old daughter yelled at the nurse giving her the flu vaccine last year.
In the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to forget the flu season is just around the corner. Or maybe you haven’t forgotten because you have seen signs advertising the flu vaccine at many national pharmacy chains. I think I saw my first flu vaccine advertisement at the end of July, more than 2 months before the onset of the flu season!
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the flu vaccine every year for everyone 6 months of age and older. It is especially important this year given the overlap of symptoms caused by COVID-19 and the flu. Getting your flu vaccine is one of the best ways to protect against the flu. Although the flu vaccine is currently available at many pharmacies, the CDC recommends waiting until late September to get vaccinated because getting the vaccine too early may cause reduced protection against the flu later in the flu season.
As we have been so focused on COVID-19, I think it is important to remember that last year, more than 410,000 Americans were hospitalized due to the flu and more than 24,000 people died from the flu. Although wearing a mask can help prevent the flu, the best way to protect yourself is to get the vaccine.
At Bedford Commons OB-GYN, we will begin to offer the flu vaccine to our pregnant patients starting October 1, 2020. We recommend the vaccine for all of our patients but due to a limited supply, we are only able to offer the vaccine in our office to our obstetric patients. For our non-obstetric patients, we would recommend heading to your primary care or a local pharmacy to get vaccinated.
Click here for more information from the CDC about this year’s flu vaccine.