FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Media Relations
Flu season is just around the corner, which means it’s time to make a plan to safely get your flu shot.
Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against seasonal influenza, which sickens millions and kills thousands of Americans every year. This year’s flu season, which typically starts in October, could be particularly bad, with COVID-19 also still spreading uncontrolled in many parts of the country. The U.S. reported more than 240,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the last seven days alone.
“It’s more important than ever to get a flu shot,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association. “It not only protects you and the people around you from preventable illness, it also helps limit the impact on local hospitals and health responders, who could be overwhelmed with both viruses in circulation.”
Older people, pregnant women, children younger than 5, and people with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes and asthma are at higher risk of serious flu complications. However, everyone is susceptible to getting sick with and spreading the flu, which is why getting immunized is the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones and your entire community.
During the 2018-2019 U.S. flu season — the last one before COVID-19 hit — more than 35 million people got sick with the flu, more than 490,000 were hospitalized and over 34,000 people died from influenza. COVID-19 complicates matters more, with its ability to overlap with influenza and other respiratory infections, which could result in life-threatening conditions.
Fortunately, the same precautions people are taking against COVID-19 — such as wearing face masks, frequent hand-washing and physical distancing — can help keep the flu away, too, Benjamin said. But your best chance at staying flu-free is getting a flu shot.
“Don’t wait,” Benjamin said, “make a plan to get a flu shot today.”
Visit VaccineFinder.org to find a local flu shot provider.
The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.