Many people don’t realize that December is the peak of flu season, which doesn’t end until early spring. Even still, it’s not too late to get your flu shot! The vaccination is readily available at doctors’ offices and pharmacies, typically at little or no cost to you. If you haven’t already, now is the time to roll up your sleeve and help fight the flu!
Q: When is National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW)?
A: NIVW is December 5-11 this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated this week as an annual reminder that the vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and those you love from the flu. The virus has the potential to make you sick enough to be admitted to the hospital or even cause death, therefore it must be taken seriously.
Q: How do I know if I have the flu?
A: Symptoms are very distinct and can significantly interfere with your normal daily activities. COVID is an additional consideration again this year because the symptoms for both viruses are very similar.
They include the following:
- Fever or feeling feverish/having chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle pain or body aches
- Vomiting and diarrhea
Q: What should I do if I believe I have been infected?
A: The only way to know for sure if you have COVID or flu is to get tested. Start by calling your primary care physician who can provide guidance on when and where to get tested.
Q: It’s December. Have I missed the vaccination window for this year?
A: No! If you have not had your COVID or flu shot, it’s not too late. In fact, you can get both shots at the same time, and both are free!
Q: What about COVID booster shots?
A: According to the CDC, people age 18 years and older who received Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may get a booster. Bring your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card to your booster shot appointment so your provider can fill in the information about your booster dose.
Please note, booster recommendations are evolving and change frequently. For the latest information and to learn more, speak with your doctor and visit COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots | CDC.
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