Mel talks with Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, from the American Heart Association. He is the Chief Medical Officer for Prevention. The flu shot is all about prevention. He says the flu shot is always important but this year in this time of COVID it is particularly important. The flu shot always protects the person who gets the vaccine from getting influenza; protects those around them from getting influenza. He says this year in the time of COVID, the flu vaccine protects those who get it from taxing hospital systems that need to all their attention focused on taking care of people with COVID-19 or other things that had to be hospitalized and couldn’t be prevented.
Dr. Sanchez says that is a big deal that everyone over the age of six months get a flu vaccine today, this week, as soon as possible. There are four categories that should be at the front of line as a super big deal. The first are people over age 65; second is people with underlying conditions such as cardiovascular disease, having had a stroke, diabetes or a comprised immune system. Third category children five and younger. They are at a particularly high risk of having complicated influenza. The is fourth pregnant women.
Dr. Sanchez says not only is the influenza vaccine safe, it is very effective. It’s been tried and used for decades now. He says it is as safe as any medication that a person would get by way of a prescription from their pharmacy. He tells us you can’t get the flu from a flu shot and it takes two weeks to be effective so if you are exposed to other things in the meantime you make get sick. He goes on to say that for people between the ages of 2 and 49 years old there is a nasal spray flu vaccine. Dr. Sanchez says to call your doctor, see if that is what you need to get but get your flu vaccine which ever type; it will protect you.