As we ease back into in-person work and school, our bodies will have to adjust to being around other people. Because of the continuous lockdowns and the wearing of masks, there was a significant decrease in the number of flu cases and in our exposure to others. After this nearly year-and-a-half-long pause on our immune systems, punctuated by proper hand-washing and mask-wearing, it’s only natural for the flu season to be more severe this year. But don’t worry, we have everything you need to know about the upcoming flu season below!
Will getting the 2021 flu shot keep you from getting the flu?
In the past, vaccines have proven to help reduce your chances of getting the flu and lessen the symptoms if you do contract it. It should also be noted that the vaccine has shown to be the best protection against the flu for pregnant women. Other at-risk populations who are urged to receive a flu shot are those with chronic conditions (such as pulmonary disease and diabetes), senior populations, and young children over the age of 6 months.
Most clinics and pharmacies provide flu shots free of charge. Still, if you have any underlying conditions that might prevent you from receiving the vaccine, we encourage you to reach out to your primary care physician and find out what the best course of action is for you.
How has the pandemic impacted flu season?
Since most of the general population has been on lockdown or wearing masks for the past year, our immune systems aren’t getting the same exercise as before. Because of this rest given to our bodies, it’s natural that we’d become more susceptible to everyday illnesses such as the flu. So this year’s flu may be more intense, especially for those who avoided as much contact as possible with people outside your household, as that decreased your immune system’s natural ability to resist foreign threats. Emergency Medicine Physician Dr. Ron Jensen has this to say about what to expect this fall.