With COVID-19 taking over the media and almost every aspect of our lives, it can be hard to think about anything else, even other causes of sickness. It may seem like the only illness to worry about these days is the coronavirus, especially with unusually low flu activity, but the flu is still an ever-present threat.
And we think it’s now more important than ever to do what you can to protect yourself and those around you from harmful viruses. Here, our team of expert physicians at Macomb Medical Clinic takes a closer look at five reasons why getting your annual flu shot is still a good idea.
1. Know what your symptoms mean
The flu and COVID-19 share many of the same symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, sore throat, congestion, headaches, and body aches. Having your flu shot may help you better identify COVID-19 if you start to develop symptoms.
2. Relieve stress at the hospitals
Before the pandemic, hospitals saw tens of thousands of flu patients. Now, hospital beds are filled with COVID-19 patients. Getting your flu shot and reducing your risk of needing hospitalization from serious flu symptoms not only supports your health but relieves stress on the hospitals and their staff.
3. Early protection is better protection
Though most of the cases seem to occur in the dead of winter, flu season begins as early as October and often lasts through late April or early May. But it’s important to know that the flu shot doesn’t provide instant protection; it can take 1-2 weeks for you to receive the full benefits of the shot.
The longer you wait to get your flu shot, the higher your chances are of contracting the flu, so getting your shot as soon as possible is essential for staying safe.
4. Protect your loved ones
The flu shot isn’t just for you — it’s for everyone around you as well. Because the flu spreads so easily, especially among family members and those in close, constant contact, we strongly encourage you to get a flu shot to protect yourself and others.
5. Defend against flu variants
Even if you had the flu shot last year, it’s important to receive one this year, too. That’s because the flu virus changes every year, so each year’s flu shot is designed to protect against the current virus strain. Even if you do contract the flu, your symptoms will tend to be much milder.
A small percentage of individuals shouldn't get the flu shot — namely those with life-threatening allergies to anything in the vaccine — but we can discuss this with you when you contact us.
If you’d like more information or to schedule an appointment to get your flu shot, you can request an appointment by calling our Sterling Heights, Michigan, office.