It’s a different kind of flu season – With Covid-19, let’s not make it a “Twindemic!”

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This year has been unlike any other. Covid-19 is still among us. Now: Flu season. It is believed that the flu virus and the virus that causes Covid-19 will both be spreading during fall and winter.

The good news is that for the flu we actually do have a vaccination. We all just need to get our flu shot.

Health Plan of San Joaquin Chief Medical Officer Lakshmi Dhanvanthari, MD, advises: “Everyone six months of age or older needs a flu vaccine.”

Dr. Dhanvanthari emphasizes: “This year because of the Covid pandemic it is even more important to get the flu vaccine to avoid getting the flu. If you get sick with flu-like symptoms – cough, cold, body ache and fever – call you doctor right away. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a medicine for the flu which should be taken soon after the symptoms begin. And please, stay home if you are sick. As Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says, get your flu shot, ‘so that you could at least blunt the effect of one of those two potential respiratory infections.’.”

Every flu season is different. Which is why it is important to get a flu shot every year. Unless you are allergic, or your doctor says you should not, getting a flu shot is especially important for anyone who is pregnant, has a chronic condition like diabetes or asthma, or those over the age of 60. Talk to your doctor to make sure it is right for you. For HPSJ members: You can get your flu shot at your doctor’s office. If you are over the age of 19, you can get your flu shot at the local pharmacy.

We still are learning more about Covid-19. But we already have learned what our shared actions as a community can do to keep ourselves and each other Covid-safe. With flu season, we can renew our commitment to keeping each other safe, and using those preventatives that are available to us.

Do your part to stay healthy and keep others healthy, by:

  1. Wearing a mask
  2. Washing our hands
  3. Staying 6 feet apart
  4. Getting a flu shot!

As Dr. Dhanvanthari sums it up: “Together we can protect our families. United we win.”
© Health Plan of San Joaquin, August 2020, permission to reprint in full, with attribution.

Posted on August 21st, 2020 and last modified on September 8th, 2020.