Should you get a flue vaccine? Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health shares this information.
She says we know the flu can be very debilitating and people can get really sick and we know people can get very sick from COVID 19. Dr. Burstein says we also know that COVID 19 and the flu are going to happen at the same time this year, so it is really important to get as protected as possible for your health. Since we don’t have a COVID 19 vaccine yet it’s really important to get a flu vaccine. Anyone over 6 months old can get a vaccine. There are very few contraindications.
Dr. Burstein says there are groups of people that it is very important to get a flu shot. Those are young children, people age 50 and up, adults and children who have any chronic disease and, also people who are around people who are very vulnerable will need to get a vaccine. That’ would include health care providers, parents and grandparents. People ask when they should get a flu shot because they are seeing it advertised at pharmacies and a lot of health care providers have the vaccine. She says they don’t know exactly when the flu season is going to start; every year is different. This year the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending everyone gets a vaccine before the end of October. If you don’t make it by the end of October, it’s never too late. There is always another chance. Dr. Burstein wants to remind people to continue with your protective measures against COVID 19 because that will also protect you from influenza.
The Erie County Health Commissions says people read or hear myths on social media about the flu vaccine causing the flu and she says it is biologically impossible for the influenza vaccine to cause influenza. The problem is timing. When people get the flu vaccine it is the time your start to see respiratory viruses circulate in the community so by coincidence you might develop a cold or some type of upper respiratory track infections soon after you get a flu vaccine but that doesn’t mean there is a cause and effect relationship. She goes on to say people also say they don’t like needles and she says there is a nose spray vaccine that is available this year. Talk with your health care provider or pharmacist and they will find a vaccine that is best for you.