Why It’s Especially Important to Get Your Flu Shot

While we never know how serious flu season will be, it’s always important to get an annual flu shot. With the continued risk of COVID-19, it’s even more crucial. Since the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are quite similar, it can be difficult to know which virus you have. What’s more, the flu shot can help prevent you from catching both viruses at the same time, which could be quite dangerous.

a doctor swabs a woman's arm for a flu vaccine shot

In fact, according to a 2019–2020 study performed in the Netherlands at Radboud University Medical Center, participants who had gotten the flu shot were 39% less likely to test positive for COVID-19 by June 1 than their coworkers. That’s because in addition to helping prevent the flu, the flu shot may actually strengthen the body’s overall immune system. And even if you do catch the flu, the flu vaccine can reduce the severity of your symptoms.

Who should get a flu shot?

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) strongly recommends a flu vaccination for everyone six months of age or older. In addition to protecting yourself, you’ll be helping to protect those at higher risk, such as children under five, adults 65 years and older, pregnant women and those with chronic conditions. 

When to get the vaccine

Early October is the ideal time to get a flu shot. Since it takes about two weeks to become effective and lasts for about six months, it will help protect you through flu season’s peak, from November through March. Of course, it’s still not too late to your flu shot, so it’ll protect you through a majority of the season.

Where to get the vaccine

You can get your flu shot at a Denver Health clinic, your primary care provider office or any network pharmacy, such as King Soopers, Walgreens, CVS, etc. Try to schedule your appointment as early in the morning as possible (preferably the first appointment of the day). Your provider will be less likely to run late, which means you’ll spend less time in the waiting area. Otherwise, ask what time of day you’re least likely to have to wait — keep in mind, when there are more providers on staff, you’ll get in and out a lot faster.

Staying safe

For your protection, please take the following precautions when getting your flu shot:

  • Stay 6 feet apart from others in the waiting area.
  • Try to get in and out quickly.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Use hand sanitizer.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds.

In summary

  • It’s vitally important to get your flu shot.
  • Get it as soon as possible, to protect yourself and those around you.
  • Schedule yours today at 303-436-4949 or through the free MyChart app for the Denver Health clinics.
Denver Health Medical Plan Staff Writer

The information contained on this blog is intended for informational purposes only. Nothing contained, expressed or implied in this blog, is intended as medical advice nor should it be construed as such. This blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice, medical diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician or health care provider. It is not meant to and does not cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects and reliance on the information on this blog is at your own risk. Always talk to your doctor or other qualified health care provider about any concerns or questions you have about your medical care and do not disregard professional medical advice based on the information herein. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.