The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges all Americans at least 6 months old to get a flu vaccine every year, and they say it’s more important than ever this year with the COVID-19 pandemic expected to continue into 2021. 

The flu, like COVID-19, is a respiratory illness that accounts for millions of hospitalizations each year. The CDC is concerned that between flu and COVID-19 patients, our healthcare system can become overwhelmed. Fortunately, the flu vaccine is very effective, and even those who may still become infected, the effects are usually much less severe.

Bannister Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has the latest information regarding flu vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will There Be Enough Flu Vaccine?

The CDC says that private manufacturers responsible for producing and distributing this year’s vaccine are anticipating a record amount of demand. Last year, 175 million doses were provided, which was the most ever produced. This year’s total is expected to reach close to 200 million.

Do People Need a Flu Vaccine Earlier?

The CDC does not anticipate a major change in this and expects that the recommendation will be to get the vaccine in September or October, prior to the peak of flu season. This is because it takes around two weeks after receiving the vaccination to build immunity to the virus.

Where Can I Get the Flu Vaccine?

Vaccines are generally available at doctor’s offices and pharmacies, and that’s not expected to change. Some workplaces would traditionally offer vaccines at the office, and those settings may not be available this year. Visit www.vaccinefinder.org for more information.

Is There a Test for Both Flu and COVID-19?

Yes, the CDC has developed a test that will check for both the A and B type seasonal flu viruses as well as COVID-19. This way if you have flu-like symptoms, one test will be able to determine if it is the flu or COVID-19. This test will also help health officials determine how both viruses might be spreading in a particular community. 

To learn more about Bannister Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing and all of the services they offer, visit https://bannister-center.facilities.centershealthcare.org/.