Why it’s so important to get the flu vaccine this year

Fall in the U.S. means saying goodbye summer and hello pumpkin spice season. It also means that flu season is quickly approaching.

The flu vaccine is one of the strongest tools we have to reduce the spread of the flu and protect ourselves and each other. The more people who get vaccinated against the flu, the better it is for everyone. “Herd immunity” is a term used to describe the concept of a large number of people in a community being vaccinated against a certain disease. When the number of people vaccinated is high enough, it helps to prevent the spread of those germs throughout a community.

The CDC recommends that almost everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine, especially people who are at high risk of experiencing flu complications and hospitalization including young children, pregnant people, and older adults.  Infants cannot receive a flu vaccine until 6 months of age, and they aren’t fully protected until they’ve had more than one dose. This is why it’s all the more important that people who can get vaccinated do — when vaccination rates are high enough, folks who can’t get vaccinated are still protected. 

So, with flu season upon us, make sure that you schedule your flu vaccine now if you haven’t already. And encourage your friends and family to do the same. There are a number of different ways you can get a flu vaccine. You can call your healthcare provider to make an appointment, visit a community clinic, or get a flu vaccine at your local pharmacy. It’s a powerful tool to protect us all, and with a baby on the way, it’s even more important.

  • Jan Hoffman. “Fearing a ‘Twindemic,’ Health Experts Push Urgently for Flu Shots.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, September 2, 2020. Retrieved October 7, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/16/health/coronavirus-flu-vaccine-twindemic.html.
  • “Frequently Asked Influenza (Flu) Questions: 2020-2021 Season.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, October 7, 2020. Retrieved October 7, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2020-2021.htm.
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