This time of year, we’ll begin to see sniffles and seasonal illnesses popping up more frequently. Spending more time indoors brings us into close contact with others in settings where viruses can linger in the air making it easier to get sick.
This means it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get the flu and COVID-19 vaccines. Everyone older than 6 months should get a yearly flu shot. Everyone age 12 and older is also eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone who has not already received get as soon as possible based on the continued spread of COVID-19. The FDA is expected to authorize access to the COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12 later this year. Visit our coronavirus updates page at bcidaho.com/coronavirus for the most up-to-date information.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to make sure that you can stay healthy this fall and winter. Both the COVID-19 and flu vaccines are proven safe and effective in preventing the worst side effects from catching the flu or COVID-19. Those who are vaccinated may still get sick but may only experience mild to moderate symptoms.
If you live in an area with high or substantial transmission of COVID-19, the CDC recommends both vaccinated and unvaccinated people wear masks when indoors in crowded environments. Masks have consistently proven to be effective at slowing the spread of airborne illnesses such as COVID-19 and can help protect those who have weakened immune systems or who are unable to be vaccinated.
In addition to a flu or COVID-19 shot, here are some other preventive actions the CDC suggests for staying healthy during flu season:
The symptoms for the flu and COVID-19 are similar. Changes in or loss of taste or smell is more common in COVID-19. Symptoms of a mild case of COVID-19 when fully vaccinated may appear similar to common cold.
Here are the symptoms that the flu and COVID-19 share:
If you do experience these symptoms, talk to your doctor about treatment options and if you should get tested for COVID-19.
Get your flu and COVID-19 shot
You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and annual flu shots at no cost to you. It’s easy to get them at your doctor’s office, a pharmacy or other locations. Locations such as Albertsons, Walmart and most drug stores are convenient places to get vaccines. If you need help finding a place to get vaccinated, visit vaccines.gov/search to find a location near you. By getting vaccinated, you can help keep your community healthy.
Posted: September 15, 2021