by Dr. Frank L. Urbano, MBA, FACP, Senior Medical Director for AmeriHealth New Jersey
One of the most critical steps you can take in staying healthy this year is getting your flu vaccine. Getting vaccinated can reduce your risk of flu infections and prevent medical visits, hospitalizations, and even death.
The pandemic paused our lives. But when it comes to personal health, our bodies don’t have a pause button. To maintain good health, it’s critical that we continue to access necessary health care services, including routine care, such as getting a flu vaccination
Although, the flu and COVID-19 may present in similar ways, they are very different viruses, so getting a flu vaccination will not protect you against COVID-19. While research is underway, there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, so it is more important than ever to stay up to date with the immunizations that are available to keep you healthy—and that includes your flu vaccine.
A combination of both viruses, or one after the other, could be dangerous for your overall health, respiratory health and your body’s ability to recover. Another consideration is the difficulty distinguishing between the two since they have similar presentations. By getting the flu vaccine, that could decrease the risk of one potential source for the symptoms.
The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months and older. Your doctor can help answer any questions you may have.
There are several ways to get a flu vaccination. You can call your primary care physician to ask if they have the vaccine available, and if they do you will likely need to make an appointment. Other options include visiting an in-network retail health clinic or in-network pharmacy. Since it’s a preventive service, most health plans cover the flu shot at no cost.
Although most people get the flu vaccine between September and November, the flu season lasts through April, with most cases occurring between late December and early March. The flu vaccine can take up to two weeks to work, so it’s important to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
AmeriHealth Insurance Company of New Jersey | AmeriHealth HMO, Inc.
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