Every year, the flu seems to rear its ugly head once again in the fall and winter months. The virus infects several million people in the United States alone each year, with some marginalized groups with immune conditions or age comorbidities seeing a more severe and potentially deadly presence of the virus. Needless to say, preventing the spread of the flu is pretty important and is actually quite easy due to the presence of the flu vaccine. Let’s discuss why you should get your phone out right now and start searching for “pharmacy near me” to get that shot, especially in 2020!
A Duel Presence
The flu itself is usually bad enough. It spreads easily and can pose a very real health risk to many groups. Since it was first offered in the early 1900s, the flu shot has helped to lower the risk of contracting the disease and slowed the spread of the virus. In 2020, this will be an even more important effort to pursue.
The novel coronavirus we are facing, also known as COVID-19, is something entirely unprecedented within our lifetime. It is a full pandemic that has claimed a previously unimaginable amount of lives and has contributed to massive economic and social downturns that have greatly impacted life.
Now, with flu season upon us, we are forced to face a dual-threat of the flu and COVID-19 being present at the same time. At this time, we are unable to predict how the two viral illnesses will interact and do not have access to a COVID-19 vaccine. Due to this, it is now absolutely crucial that you get the flu vaccine; searching for a “pharmacy store near me” should be at the tip-top of your to-do list.
The Power of Herd Immunity
Human bodies are an incredibly powerful thing. They are able to recover and develop antibodies to assist them in not getting repeatedly sick due to the strength of their immune system. We run like well-oiled machines while being protected by this system that builds immunity to disorders and prevents illnesses. That being said, not everyone has a good immune system.
Some people are born with compromised immune systems, meaning they do not form antibodies or respond properly to illnesses, resulting in them getting sicker from things that a healthy person can easily overcome. Similarly, people with cancer, illnesses, and other disorders may develop immune issues, much like those who are very young or elderly. These people often cannot get the vaccine or will experience lessened vaccine immunity, making them more susceptible to still falling very ill from the flu.
Herd immunity is the concept that if all of the healthy people within society get a vaccine and develop immunity, the virus cannot easily spread. This allows those who cannot get vaccinated to be protected too since the healthy people are not spreading the virus as much. While not perfect, herd immunity is something that has worked in the past with diseases like polio and is very important in keeping our communities safe.
Other Flu and COVID-19 Preventative Practices
For the most part, preventing or slowing the spread of the flu and COVID-19 comes in very similar forms. Washing hands often, cleaning hard surfaces, minimizing physical contact, wearing face masks, and other basic hygiene help to slow down the virus spread, especially since healthier people can be sick while not feeling sick at all.
Following the CDC and WHO guidelines is a good way to stay up to date on the flu preventative measures and allows some insight on how to slow the spread of COVID-19, as well, though the information surrounding the novel coronavirus is continually evolving and may change more often due to the fluidity of the situation.
There is a lot that still needs to be known about COVID-19 and its potential interactions with the flu this flu season but, regardless of what is to come, getting a flu shot is a good idea to do your part in keeping your family, community, and further-reaching ties safe. Hop online and search for a pharmacy near you and find a location that offers the vaccine; your health and that of those around you depend on it.
Ready to get your flu shot or looking to learn more about this vaccine? Contact My Pharmacy and Optical now and we will help you in any way we can!