Make a plan to prevent flu and COVID-19

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(Baptist Health) – Last year, the safety measures we took to fight COVID-19 may also have contributed to a very mild flu season. And that was a welcome dose of good news in a difficult time.

But now that people are meeting up again, sometimes unmasked, it’s vital for you and your family to get your flu shots this year.

The flu and you

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends flu shots for almost everyone 6 months and older. Flu shots are especially important for people at high risk of getting very sick, including:

  • People 65 and older.
  • People with certain chronic conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Young children, especially those under 2 years.
  • People from racial and ethnic minority groups.
  • People with disabilities, especially those that affect muscle or lung function or that make it difficult to cough or swallow.

Most people should get their flu shot in September or October, CDC says. That’s before the flu starts spreading in most places. But it’s also late enough to last through the worst of the flu season.

Children 6 months to 8 years old who have not had a flu shot before need two doses given at least four weeks apart. They should get an early start so they can get the second dose by the end of October.

Get your COVID-19 shots too

If you’ve yet to get a COVID-19 vaccine, there are good reasons to include them in your plan too. The vaccines are safe and very good at protecting people from COVID-19. Plus, once you’re fully vaccinated, you can start doing more, like getting together with friends.

CDC recommends that most people 12 and older be vaccinated against COVID-19. And it’s OK to get other shots at the same time. So ask your provider about getting up-to-date on all the shots your family needs.

For more tips on protecting yourself from this season’s bugs, visit our Flu and Coronavirus topic centers.

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