We all fight flu! Get your flu shot today. There's still time.

posted by DeeAnn Vaage on Friday, December 17, 2021

Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and the ones we care for from flu and its potentially serious complications. There is still time to protect against flu. With the holidays almost here, and while that means more opportunities for spreading holiday cheer, there is also more opportunity for spreading flu and other respiratory viruses.

As you know, flu activity was very low during the 2020-2021 season likely because of COVID-19 prevention measures however, it's important to know that immune protection against flu decreases over time, so many people may have reduced immunity to flu this season. As we celebrate this holiday season, we are particularly concerned about the impact reduced immunity could have on our patients who are already at higher risk of developing serious flu complications, including those with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, heart disease and diabetes.

Here are some great reasons to get vaccinated for the flu!

  • It can help you from getting sick! Being vaccinated will reduce your risk of having to go to the doctor with flu by 40-60%!
  • It can help reduce the severity of your illness if you do get sick! Flu vaccination lowers a person’s risk of an ICU admission by 26% and reduces death from flu by 31%!
  • Getting a flu shot during pregnancy not only protects the mother but can also help protect the baby from flu for several months after birth when they are too young to be vaccinated!!
  • You can spread the flu 48 hours before you have your first symptom, so getting vaccinated will help protect your family, co-workers and patients from being exposed.
  • You can help protect those with underlying conditions and those who are immunocompromised. Remember, a vaccine is only as effective as one’s immune system to respond to the vaccine. Many immunocompromised patients have difficulty mounting an effective antibody response after vaccination so even if they get vaccinated, they are still vulnerable. We can help protect them by being vaccinated.
  • Being vaccinated adds a protective layer over our entire community. Vaccination decreases further spread. Less disease spread means less illness and fewer hospitalizations for everyone. Our staffing and bed capacity is already overwhelmed, so by getting vaccinated you can help protect our community hospital’s bed availability!

Despite the many benefits offered by flu vaccination, only about half of Americans get an annual flu vaccine and flu continues to cause millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths. Many more people could be protected from flu if more people got vaccinated. You can make a difference by getting a flu shot. We all #fightflu.

We encourage community members to contact their clinic or local pharmacy to receive a flu vaccine. To schedule an appointment with Avera Medical Group Spencer, please call (712) 264-3500.

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About The Author

DeeAnn Vaage

DeeAnn Vaage, is an RN and currently the Infection Preventionist at Spencer Hospital. Dee has worked in this capacity for 20 years. She is Board Certified in Infection Prevention and Control by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology. She is a member of the Association for P ... read more