Staying Safe From Coronavirus During Annual Flu Season

September 28, 2020
by TammyS | Health + Beauty

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Staying Safe From Coronavirus During Annual Flu Season

The 2020 Influenza season could very well coincide with what many experts are predicting could also be the second wave of COVID-19.  If this does happen, then it is especially important to get your flu shot.  The flu is a very serious infection and getting your flu shot will help to ease a second wave pandemic if it does happen to collide with regular flu season.

The CDC recommends getting your flu shot in September or October.  But a flu shot only protects against certain strains of the flu – it will not protect you from COVID-19.  It will, however, help to keep you from getting both flu viruses at the same time.  Or from getting one after the other before the body has time to recover.

The flu shot is not a live vaccine and cannot give you the flu.  It is a vaccine made from an inactivated or “killed” virus.  Seasonal or “regular” flu puts thousands of people in the hospital every season.  By getting your flu shot you are helping to keep hospital beds (especially in ICUs and ERs) open for those with COVID-19 or other serious medical ailments that require the use of hospitalization, ventilators, etc.

If a second wave of COVID-19 does occur, public health officials are warning of the possibility of something unusual…a “twindemic”.  There will be a substantial period (months) when the annual flu and COVID-19 could both be circulating.  This will increase the likelihood of hospital beds and ICU overcrowding. 

Avoiding all serious illnesses helps to keep hospitals from becoming overburdened.  That is not only good for society as a whole, but it also benefits you as an individual.  When hospitals are overwhelmed, we have decreased access to care and resources for anyone who needs it.  If ERs and ICUs are at full capacity due to flu and COVID-19 cases and you have a heart attack, what happens to you if there is not a bed, ventilator or the necessary staff to take care of you?

Some researchers say to look for a vaccine before the end of the year, while others predict a safe and effective vaccine will not be readily available until Spring 2021.  Because COVID is a novel and highly infectious pathogen, it may likely be a two-dose vaccine.  Meaning you will get the initial vaccine and then a second shot roughly four to six weeks later.

In any event, whether you work outside the home or remain isolated, it is imperative that you continue to practice mask wearing, social distancing and personal and environmental cleanliness.  This virus, like nearly all pathogens that came before it (polio, smallpox, Asian flu, Hong Kong flu, Ebola, etc.), will eventually be brought under control.

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