Time to Get a Flu Shot

The flu shot is a simple, affordable way to protect your health and the health of those around you. And with COVID-19 still present, getting a flu shot this year is more important than ever. Make a plan to get a flu shot now.

Millions of Americans get the flu each year. It is estimated that at least 39 million people became ill with the flu last flu season (early October through early April), leading to a minimum of 18 million medical visits, 410,000 hospitalizations, and at least 24,000 deaths. In addition to the human cost, the economic impact of the flu related to lost work time, productivity, and medical resource investment amounts to billions of dollars annually.

A simple, affordable way to protect your health and the health of those around you, make a plan to get a flu shot now.

It is more important than ever to get vaccinated this year considering the continued presence of the COVID-19 viral global pandemic that has already claimed more than 198,000 American lives. Everyone in Virginia should receive a flu vaccine. This includes people in heavily populated cities and counties and people who live in rural towns and hamlets. It includes healthy and vulnerable Virginians, younger and older people, and those in communities of color. Getting a flu shot is especially important for people in communities with health outcome disparities that have also been hard hit by COVID-19 (data indicates that Black and Latinx communities have experience a higher risk and instance of COVID-19 and historically lower than average flu vaccination rates).

A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons:

  • a person's immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection
  • flu viruses are constantly changing, therefore flu vaccines are updated from one season to the next to protect against the viruses that research suggests may be most common during the upcoming flu season
As in-person and virtual school years resume and flu season approaches, now is the time to get a flu vaccine. Doing so is an important precaution that provides a measure of relief to those who are vaccinated – it is one less thing to worry about during the time of COVID-19. In addition to flu shots, it is also vital for parents to get their children caught up on any vaccinations they may have missed during the temporary stay-at-home order earlier this year, and for all Virginians to begin to ready themselves to get a COVID-19 vaccine when that becomes publicly available.

Just as social distancing, wearing masks in public, and frequent hand washing continue to be necessary behaviors to practice for the good of public health, getting a flu shot is just as important to reduce strain on the economy and the health care delivery system during the continued fight against COVID-19.


A Lifesaving Investment

Working towards a Virginia where all people have access to comprehensive, quality healthcare by supporting and advocating for our member clinics so that hardworking individuals and families are protected from healthcare crises.