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Flu 2020 Situation Update
Last updated September 8, 2020
This year, keeping flu under control is, without a doubt, more important than it has ever been (and we beat the flu-shot drum loudly every year). Why? Because flu vaccine is now a critical tool to keep our health systems from being overwhelmed. The more people that can be kept well or only minimally ill because they got a flu shot, the more resources we have for CoVID-19 patients until THAT vaccine is available.
Australia is two months into their flu season and something close to miraculous is happening: Influenza rates in Australia and other countries in the Southern Hemisphere are down by 50-90% from 2019. This is amazing, but it is not really miraculous – flu cases are down because of social distancing measures, vaccination, and schools being closed.
The good news is this: We absolutely CAN stave off the 2021 Twindemic. But here is what has to happen: EVERY individual has to make the right choices.
-Wear a mask.
-Stay home if ill.
-Get a flu vaccine.
This will take all of us showing individual initiative. If we shrug our shoulders and say, “I don’t have to because everyone else will,” we will be doomed.
Would it be ok if we only distanced and didn’t immunize? Maybe but probably not. Would we be ok if we immunized but didn’t distance? Maybe, but probably not. Would we be ok to fill up our schools at capacity? Based on what has happened in the southern hemisphere, definitely not. (I know that last bit will ruffle feathers but it is the truth. Kids are vectors of viral transmission—especially the flu. This year, we can’t afford it.)
We are beaten and bruised and desperately want to just lay down and let the timer run out but we can’t. We can STILL win this. It will take all of us, and it starts with just one of us: you.
GET YOUR SHOT?
We're so glad.
Patients should call the office to schedule an appointment. Flu shots take about 10 minutes and are a tent service whenever possible / as long as weather permits, so you don't even have to come inside the office. We will have Flu-Block (not made with eggs, for those with an allergy) as well as high-dose vaccine.
Here, or at the pharmacy?
Where do people who are sick go? To the indoor pharmacy of course, for flu shots, cough syrups, nasal sprays, you name it. All of our flu clinics will take place in a sick-free zone: our 750 outdoor tent, administered by a medical assistant who has NOT seen sick patients. And our flu shot can be done without waiting inside the office.
Isn't it too early?
The flu vaccine has a seasonality, and typically we expect immunity to last a few months. So most years we recommend patients wait until late September or early October. This year, with so much uncertainty around CoVID-19, I would encourage everyone to get the vaccine as soon as it is available.
If you think you don't have time for your flu shot (10 minutes), you definitely don't have time for the flu. Current CDC recommendations have you home for 4-5 days. Can you afford that time?
Call us today. Get the shot.
Christine Meyer, MD
Every year, I encounter dozens of patients who refuse a flu shot. In my career I've been able to successfully refute nearly every anti-flu shot argument using science, which often leads to a change of heart. Not always, but often.
Click through these slides to see some of the most common questions and rationales I hear for not getting the shot. If you're still not convinced, let's talk some more. I'm always eager to listen, learn, and try to ease your fears. I care about your beliefs, and I care about talking through them. The shot is the right thing to do, and it saves lives. You have the power to save lives. No matter what you believe, I believe in you.