The Anne Arundel County Department of Health strongly recommends getting the 2020-21 seasonal flu vaccine by the end of October. The vaccine is available from local health care providers and pharmacists. For county residents who are uninsured, the Department of Health provides free flu immunizations by appointment. Call the Glen Burnie Health Center at 410-222-6633 to make an appointment.
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever. Here are a few reasons why.
- It is possible to have the flu at the same time as COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. Respiratory illnesses target the lungs. Although it’s too soon to tell how common co-infections will be, battling more than one respiratory illness at a time could have severe consequences.
- The flu can weaken the body to the point that it is more susceptible to COVID-19.
- Trips to the doctor or pharmacist because of the flu increase the chance of being around people with COVID-19 and contracting the disease.
- Flu hospitalizations along with COVID-19 hospitalizations could greatly overburden health care facilities.
Flu vaccination is especially important for adults 65 years and older, who account for most hospitalizations and deaths from the flu and COVID-19.
Flu vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the flu.
A flu vaccine is needed annually, because flu viruses are constantly changing. The flu vaccine is formulated each year to keep up with the flu viruses as they change. Studies have shown that the body’s immunity to influenza viruses (acquired either through natural infection or vaccination) declines over time.
Each year in the United States, on average 23,600 people die from seasonal flu-related complications and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related causes.
For information on flu prevention:
- Get Vaccinated
- Tips to Prevent the Flu
- 4 Good Habits 4 Good Health Posters (PDF)
- CDC: Key Facts About Seasonal Influenza (Flu)
- High-Dose Vaccine for Age 65 and Older
- Influenza Disease or “Flu”