Getting a flu shot is even more critical this year as the spread of COVID-19 can complicate diagnoses, put additional pressure on health systems and lessen the quality of care provided by medical professionals.
If facing challenges makes you stronger, then 2020 has been quite the teacher. Not only are we still in the process of addressing a pandemic that has claimed over 1.5 million lives globally, but, while all of this is happening, you can’t lose sight of the fact that you still have to protect yourself from common winter illnesses. In fact, health experts recommend taking even more precautions and preventative measures this year.
So what falls high on the list of these priorities? Getting your annual flu shot.
How the Flu Takes a Toll on Health Every Year
As it currently stands, about 30,000 to 60,000 Americans and 2,500 to 3,500 Canadians die due to complications from the flu each year, while 800,00 Americans and over 13,000 Canadians are hospitalized annually. As such, medical professionals recommend getting a flu shot every year, even though it has a lower infection fatality rate (<0.1%) than COVID-19 (0.5%-1%).
Why Getting the Flu Shot is Even More Important this Year
Despite the fact that the COVID-19 vaccine is nearly ready to be implemented in certain parts of the world, medical professionals still stress the importance of getting a flu shot–even more so this year. Here are the main reasons behind this:
- Respiratory illnesses or ailments such as the flu can intensify complications for those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Flu victims will put additional pressure on a health care system already strained by COVID-19, which will impact the quality of care that will be provided to patients.
With the right mix of leading a healthy lifestyle and taking preventative measures recommended by medical professionals, you should be able to avoid getting the flu, in any given year. As things change over the course of the next 12 months, we anticipate that our day-to-day habits will adapt accordingly until we eventually settle into the new normal.
To learn about how you can address COVID-related issues in the workplace, please click here.