Getting a flu vaccine this fall is more important than ever to protect yourself, your family, friends, and coworkers. We are facing a tough 2020 flu season as we prepare to battle the coronavirus at the same time.
Flu shots protect you against flu. By getting a flu shot, you will be less likely to spread flu to others. By keeping you healthy, our VA facilities won’t be overwhelmed with flu patients during the pandemic.
Flu and COVID-19
Flu and COVID-19 can lead to serious health complications resulting in hospitalization or death. The good news is both may be prevented by wearing a face covering, practicing physical distancing, washing your hands frequently and coughing into your elbow.
With flu season approaching, talk to your health provider about where to safely get a flu shot this fall.
Everyone needs a flu shot
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone six months or older should get a yearly flu shot. Flu can be serious among young children, older adults and those with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are hospitalized with the flu.
During the 2019-2020 flu season, more than 4,600 Veterans were hospitalized at VA medical centers. More than 600 of them required intensive care stays. VA providers also saw over 27,000 Veterans for flu and spoke to more than 13,000 during phone triage calls.
Flu season is near, so talk to your health provider about where to safely get a flu shot this fall.
Shots at retail pharmacies
If you are enrolled in VA health care, you can receive the seasonal flu vaccination at more than 60,000 locations through the Community Care Network in-network retail pharmacies and urgent care partners. VA will pay for standard-dose and high-dose flu shots. Even if you haven’t had a flu shot lately, make this the year that you do!
On Sept. 1, enrolled Veterans can visit https://www.va.gov/communitycare/flushot.asp to find locations to get a no-cost flu shot.
Help us help you: we are fighting flu and COVID-19 together.
Dr. Jane Kim, MPH, is the chief consultant for preventive medicine at the National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Patient Care Services.