By Nuvance Health Medical Practice
Because we largely have not seen many flu cases in the past 18 months, Nuvance Health wants our community members to know vaccination is the best line of defense against a potentially more severe flu season.
“This season is an important one,” said Dr. Andrey Takhtovich, a family medicine physician with Nuvance Health Medical Practice (NHMP). “The flu is coming back with a vengeance and COVID-19 is still around.”
How many people get the flu each year?
Up to 45 million people can be impacted by the flu annually, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates.
“If we don’t have vaccinated individuals, we will have a lot of susceptible individuals,” said Nuvance Health’s Dr. Paul Nee, an infectious disease doctor.
When should I get a flu shot?
It’s best to get a flu shot as soon as possible.
“The season runs from October to May,” said Dr. Sejal Parekh, a family medicine doctor with NHMP’s primary care division. “By getting [the vaccine], you protect not only yourself but the people around you who may be very vulnerable to flu complications, hospitalizations and death.”
The most at risk? Young children, those with health conditions affecting the lungs, heart and immune system, as well as women who are pregnant.
The CDC says you can get the flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine or booster at the same time, the doctors said.
And you can prevent flu the same way you prevent COVID-19 — with a vaccination combined with good hand hygiene, wearing a mask and avoiding close contact.
“When you have both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, it means your body has to fight a war on two fronts,” Dr. Takhtovich said.