“You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself” (Leviticus 19:18)
Every year we hear grim mortality statistics relating to the seasonal flu.
In the last two years, an estimated 80 million Americans contracted the flu and approximately 95 thousand people died as a result (click this link for CDC statistics).
Unfortunately, as long as COVID-19 is with us, the mortality risk from contracting the flu has increased (no one knows by how much).
The risk has been dramatically increased because if both the flu and COVID-19 are contracted at the same time, health experts are predicting that the combined diseases will be fatal to a large number of people.
The term that doctors use for this risk is “co-morbidity” and it likely that a combination of influenza and COVID-19 will be a death sentence from many Americans.
So, this year, more than ever, it is important to get a flu vaccine and to do everything possible to avoid contracting the flu.
Who should get vaccinated?
“Everyone above the age of 6 months should be getting the flu vaccine,” said Dr. Uchenna Ikediobi, an assistant professor of general internal medicine and infectious diseases at Yale University.
If you don’t want to get a shot, no problem – there are nasal flu vaccine alternatives that don’t hurt. And, if egg allergies have caused a bad reaction to the flu shot in the past, no problem – there are variants of the vaccine that do not trigger egg allergies.
Many retailers and drug stores are fully stocked with flu vaccines and generally an appointment is not necessary.
There is even a web site that tells you where the most convenient location to get vaccinated is based upon your location and the type of flu vaccine you want to receive (click here for the VaccineFinder web site).
The CDC recommends getting your influenza immunization in early September which is now.
I will be getting my flu vaccine at CVS in the next couple of days.
Please be safe and get a flu shot.