Saturday, October 3, 2020

Experts Say Getting a Flu Vaccine in 2020 is More Important Than Ever

We've all heard that public health experts are emphasizing the importance of people of all ages receiving seasonal flu vaccines during the Coronavirus pandemic -- stating that it could be a double whammy flu season this year as the nation already faces a viral deadly disease with nearly twin symptoms. However, a U.S.A. poll shows that just a third of parents believe that having their child get the flu vaccine is more important this year. Also, usually less than half of adult Americans get a flu shot.

The flu shot offers protection against the flu for about 6 months. Historically, I have not been one to get a flu shot. In fact, it has been about 15 years since I've done so. However, I recently got one! Now that I'm 55 years of age, I am a bit more cautious and take more preventive measures than I use to. Next month is my annual physical exam and each year I'm told by the doctor that I'm very fit with no health issues. I don't need to take any medications and am fortunate to be going through my 50's without any concerns about my health. Forty-four percent of all Americans take at least one prescription medication, and 17 percent take three or more medications. And, 75 percent of 50-64 year olds report taking prescription drugs. I'm not in that percentage! 

Flu vaccines will not prevent the Coronavirus, but they will reduce the burden of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths on the health care system and conserve scarce medical resources for the care of people with COVID-19. Last year's flu shot was shown to be 45 percent effective overall against influenza A and B viruses. Specifically, the flu vaccine was 50 percent effective against influenza B/Victoria viruses and 37 percent effective against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09.

The Centers for Disease Control believes it's likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will be spreading simultaneously this autumn and winter. As a result, experts say that getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever.

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,