Georgia Dept. of Public Health says everyone needs a flu shot
The Georgia Dept. of Public Health (DPH) has launched a campaign urging state residents over the age of six months to get a flu shot this year. According to Dr. Kathleen Toomey, DPH commissioner, getting an influenza vaccination will help protect people from getting sick with the yearly flu or reduce its severity and risk of complications. The vaccine will also help keep people out of the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend getting the seasonal flu shot by the end of this month. It takes roughly two weeks after the vaccination for it to be fully effective.
Like COVID-19, influenza is a contagious respiratory illness and may have similar symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, runny nose and body aches. If someone develops these symptoms, testing may be needed to rule out COVID-19. Individuals should contact their healthcare provider immediately. Medications that are effective in treating flu must be taken within 48 hours of symptoms’ onset.
Also like COVID-19, flu protections – in addition to vaccination – include:
- Stay home from school or work if symptoms develop
- Social distance at least six feet from others
- Wear a mask or face covering
- Wash hands frequently
- Cover nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
- Avoid touching your face
Flu vaccines are widely available at pharmacies, grocery stores, neighborhood clinics, doctor’s offices and public health departments. Click here to find a nearby location.
Regardless of where you receive the flu shot, you’ll find providers are adhering to masking and social distancing protections along with safety guidelines from the Georgia DPH and the CDC. Find out more about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the healthcare landscape in this month’s feature, “Healthcare’s New Reality.”