You may have heard our Long-Term Care Nurse and Public Clinic Coordinator Ashley Lafirira’s commercial this September on WDEV and Froggy radio. This season, it is more important than ever to get your flu vaccine, which reduces the likelihood that you will get sick with the flu and lowers the impact of respiratory illness on the broader community. All of this is important to prevent a surge on our local healthcare system and hospital as we head into cold and flu season during the coronavirus pandemic.
CVHHH is hosting nine public flu clinics—starting Saturday, September 26th at 10:00 am at our main office in Berlin—at convenient locations in central Vermont. We checked with Ashley for answers to some of the most frequently asked flu vaccine questions she gets from year to year.
When is flu season? Flu season usually starts in October and can extend to the following May. Typically, peak months are December through March.
When should I get the 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? We follow 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 50 years of age 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 that 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.
If your doctor’s office is not offering flu vaccines this year, please give us a call. We are here to help you fight the flu. Visit www.cvhhh.org/flu2020 for our flu clinic schedule and details. You may also call CVHHH’s flu hotline at 802-224-2299 for more information. Wishing you the best of health!