CVHHH Health Talk: Why you should get a flu vaccine

You may have heard Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice’s Long-Term Care Nurse and Public Foot-Care and Vaccine Clinic Coordinator Ashley Lafirira on WDEV and Froggy radio talking about CVHHH’s public flu clinics, which started in September. CVHHH is proud to host public flu clinics. It’s a service we have offered for years. Last year, alone, we administered over 1,600 vaccine doses to central Vermonters!

This year, we want to encourage you to come to one of the clinics and get your flu vaccine. As Ashley says in her commercial, the flu vaccine reduces the likelihood you will get sick with the flu, and it lowers the impact of respiratory illness on the broader community. All of this is important because it reduces the pressure on our health care system and hospitals as we head into cold and flu season during the coronavirus pandemic.

CVHHH is hosting seven flu clinics this season at convenient locations in central Vermont. We checked with Ashley for answers to some of the most frequently asked flu vaccine questions she gets.

Remember, CVHHH is here for you. We want to help you stay healthy and safe! Visit www.cvhhh.org for the full public flu clinic schedule and details. You may also call CVHHH’s flu hotline at (802) 224-2299 for more information.

When is flu season? Flu season usually starts in October and can extend into May. Typically, peak months are December through March.

When should I get the flu vaccine? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), September and October are good times to get vaccinated. CVHHH’s flu clinics run during the CDC’s recommended time frame, from the end of September through early November.

I’m healthy. Do I really need to get vaccinated? CVHHH follows guidance from the CDC and the Vermont Department of Health (VDOH), which recommend flu vaccines for anyone six months of age and older, individuals at high risk of complications from the flu, and caregivers of individuals at high risk. High risk individuals include pregnant and breastfeeding women, children, all adults age 50 and older, those with chronic illnesses, and people with compromised immune systems.

When is the right time to get vaccinated? CVHHH’s public flu clinics are timed to provide optimal protection to individuals. According to Ashley, the flu shot should protect most people who are generally healthy and who do not have compromised immune systems for the duration of the flu season.

I heard the flu vaccine can’t really protect me against the flu. Is this true? Every year, the flu vaccine is updated to match three or four strains of the flu virus that research suggests will be the most common. While there is a chance you could be exposed to a strain not included in the vaccine, getting vaccinated is the recommended best protection.

Will a flu vaccine protect me against COVID-19? The flu vaccine will not protect you against the coronavirus; however, the flu vaccine has many other benefits, including reducing your risk of catching the flu or being hospitalized with the flu.

Is it safe to get my flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine or booster at the same time? According to the Vermont Department of Health, there are no safety concerns if you get the COVID-19 vaccine or Pfizer booster at the same time as your flu vaccine.

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