3 Reasons Why It Will Be More Important Than Ever To Get A Flu Shot This Season

by Kroger Health Staff

Last Updated: August 13, 2020

The flu vaccine is more important than ever this season. Whether you are a child, working-age adult, or senior citizen, the need and benefit is abundantly clear. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a comprehensive resource center containing trusted information, flu and vaccine research, and answers to common questions. Here are three reasons to prioritize getting a flu shot this season.
  1. It helps protect you and those around you.
    According to the CDC, vaccination is the first and best way to reduce your chances of contracting the flu and spreading it to others. The vaccination protects people around you, including those more vulnerable to serious flu illness such as young children, pregnant women, older adults, and people with chronic health conditions. The flu vaccine cannot cause flu infection and has been shown through numerous studies to significantly reduce the rate of associated deaths, hospitalizations, and illnesses. The flu vaccine has also been shown to reduce the severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
  2. It helps reduce the burden on healthcare workers and hospitals.
    The CDC estimates that last season, fewer than half of Americans received flu immunizations and at least 410,000 people were hospitalized with the flu. A 2018 study found that flu vaccination reduced the risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) because of the flu by 82 percent. It is especially important for people to avoid the flu this season in order to reduce the number of preventable hospitalizations. Flu hospitalizations strain our health system resources, which may be additionally burdened with COVID-19 patients this season. The more flu hospitalizations avoided, the more that potentially scarce medical resources can be conserved for the care of other illnesses, including COVID-19.
  3. It may save you time and money.
    For many people, the pandemic has caused an unprecedented impact on personal finances. At the same time, it has also reinforced the importance of health. No one wants a surprise illness or hospitalization, especially during this pandemic. A flu vaccine provides the best protection against a potentially serious illness from the flu and the large personal health and financial impact that could come with it. Furthermore, the vaccination may be at no cost to you. Many health insurance plans cover the flu shot as a part of their preventative care benefits, without charging a copayment or coinsurance. Lastly, the flu vaccine protects your time. By reducing your risk of illness, it avoids wait times at your local doctor or hospital and recovery time spent away from work.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of personal health and safety. The flu vaccination provides a simple, cost-effective method to significantly protect ourselves and those around us. With each of us doing our part, we reduce the burden on U.S. healthcare workers and hospitals, while saving time and money.

Disclaimer: The information in this story is accurate as of its publication. However, the situation surrounding COVID-19 is ever-evolving. We are working to keep our stories up-to-date as changes occur, but we also encourage everyone to check news and recommendations from the CDC, WHO, and their local authorities.