Fall is in the air – you can see the leaves changing color and swirling to the ground. The nights are cooler and the days are shorter. The flu virus may also be in the air as well. Fall is the recommended time to get a flu shot, ideally in the month of October. This year, in the midst of Covid-19, we are all thinking of vaccines more than ever. The majority of us are taking added precautions to prevent illness and spread of coronavirus. Many of those same precautions can also protect us from influenza. Washing your hands, covering a cough or sneeze, staying home when you have symptoms all help protect everyone. The flu virus already has a developed vaccine to help prevent illness, or to minimize illness if you are exposed. The flu virus evolves and changes. Researchers work to develop a vaccine each year to help fight against this year’s version. Also, immunity declines over time, so it is recommended to get a flu shot annually.
Chronic medical conditions can make you more vulnerable to the flu. One being cancer. Check with your health care provider to see if a flu vaccination is recommended for you and any household members. Likely he or she will say yes.
Listen to Mayo Clinic infectious disease specialist, Dr. Priya Sampathkumar, discuss the flu vaccine.