Flu Shots are More Important than Ever this Year

Help protect yourself and your loved ones by getting your annual flu shot. It is one of the best ways you can stay safe and healthy and avoid a visit to the doctor during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As the flu season approaches, health experts across the country are worried that peaks of flu and COVID-19 cases will occur at the same time. Even with a mild flu season, COVID-19, in conjunction with the flu, could place a strain on testing capacity, overburden the healthcare system, and increase the risk of catching both diseases at once. 

Although there currently isn’t a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a safe and effective flu vaccine. The flu vaccine reduces the risk of getting the flu by about half. It also reduces the risk of severe illness and hospitalization for those infected. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual flu shots for everyone six months and older, with rare exceptions. You should get your flu vaccination before the flu begins spreading in the community since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu. With this in mind, it is recommended that people receive the flu vaccine before the end of October

Staying up-to-date on your flu shot helps protect your household members and others in the community – especially older adults, young children, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions or weakened immune systems, and others at high risk for severe influenza.

Flu shots are especially important this year for:

  • Essential workers. This includes healthcare workers and others who offer needed services to the public during the pandemic.
  • People at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. This includes older adults and people with certain underlying conditions.
  • Members of minority groups that have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, including Black, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, and Alaska Native people.
  • People at increased risk of flu complications. This includes infants and young children, pregnant women, people 65 and older, and people with chronic conditions.

Flu & COVID-19 Symptoms

The flu and COVID-19 share many of the same symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue. If you do start feeling sick, know the key differences between flu and COVID-19 symptoms by checking out our symptom charts in English or Spanish

Get the Medical Care You Need

Seek medical care for any new symptoms, whether or not they may be related to COVID-19. Do not wait to seek medical attention. Call 911 if you have a medical emergency including trouble breathing, trouble speaking, pain or pressure in your chest, or numbness in your face, arm, or leg. Know the warning signs of strokes, heart attacks, seizures, etc. Learn more about seeking medical care during COVID-19.

Flu Vaccine Clinics

Flu vaccines are offered in many doctor’s offices, clinics, and pharmacies, as well as by many employers, and even in some schools. The health department is offering a handful of drive-through flu vaccine clinics this year. 

 

Wednesday, October 14 • 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

The View Community Center

13500 Byars Rd

Grandview, MO 64030

Register here

 

Friday, October 16 • 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

The Jackson County Health Department

313 S. Liberty St

Independence, MO 64050

Register here

 

Thursday, October 22 • 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Loyal Order of Moose Lodge

509 N. Sterling Ave

Sugar Creek, MO 64054

Register here

 

Friday, October 23 • 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

The Jackson County Health Department

313 S. Liberty St

Independence, MO 64050

Register here

 

Friday, October 30 • 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

The Jackson County Health Department

313 S. Liberty St

Independence, MO 64050

Register here

 

For future clinics, please visit jacohd.org/events. Find other flu vaccine locations with the HealthMap Vaccine Finder

We’re now offering updated COVID-19 boosters for people 12 and older!Make your appointment here.
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