Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Double protection is worth a shot...or two!

Bring in the fall by getting ready for flu season! Flu season can begin as early as October and last until May. However, the flu virus tends to spread the most between December and February. This year, flu season arrives while we’re still battling COVID-19. To protect yourself against both viruses, getting your flu and COVID-19 vaccinations will be super important this season. 

While 2020-2021 brought low seasonal flu activity, CDC expects that flu cases will spike back up earlier than usual this season. Last season, flu activity was down because of COVID-19 safety measures. Wearing masks and staying six feet apart in public places helped people stay protected against the flu. 

This flu season will not look like any other year. Schools, offices, and other public places are reopening with fewer social distancing rules. People are traveling again and returning to activities. They may be near larger crowds or be more reluctant to wear a mask. Now is the best time to learn about ways to protect yourself from both the flu and COVID-19. For more information on preventing the flu, check out Get Ready’s fact sheets. 

Get Ready is preparing communities for flu and COVID-19 season in its newest infographic about both vaccines. Share this infographic with your friends and family to get everyone on board with double protection this year! 

The vaccines are super safe. Each protects you from a different virus. You can even get them at the same time. COVID-19 vaccines are free to everyone in the U.S. You can get a flu shot for little to no cost. Vaccines are protections that work together with hand-washing and mask wearing. Every shot is worth a lot. It helps your family, friends and community stay healthy together!

Here are four things to keep in mind when getting both flu and COVID-19 vaccines: 

1. Safety

The CDC says both vaccinations are safe and effective. You can even get both shots in the same visit. The  flu and COVID-19 are serious infections that can spread quickly from person to person. Both viruses spread from droplets that we all exhale. A simple cough or sneeze from one person with the flu or COVID-19 can make other people sick. Getting both vaccines will help your body fight off illness and reduce the spread of both viruses. 

2. Cost and Access

In the United States, everyone ages 12 years and older can get their COVID-19 vaccination for free.  Use this vaccine locator tool to find the closest vaccine site to you. 

Anyone over 6 months old can get a flu shot. You can get a flu shot for free or low cost, especially if you have health insurance. Many local health departments, grocery stores, schools and workplaces offer them for free, too. 
Schedule both flu and COVID-19 shots as soon as you're available. The CDC recommends everyone get their flu shots before the end of October.

3. Staying Protected

Vaccinations are extra layers of protection. But they can’t prevent every case of COVID or flu. They should be paired with other health and safety measures. Wash your hands often and wear your mask when around others. Get Ready has helpful guides on hand-washing.

4. Community Impact 

Getting both vaccinations helps protect you and others around you. Sometimes people with health conditions have immune systems that are not strong enough to fight against viruses on their own. When more people get their flu and COVID-19 vaccinations, their communities can be healthier.  

Every shot is worth a lot this fall and winter!