From North Central Oklahoma Ostomy Outlook Sept 2020:

Get Your Flu Shot – It’s really important this year!

by Bob Baumel, North Central OK Ostomy Association, Sept 7, 2020

You’re probably accustomed to seeing messages every year around this time urging you to get a flu shot. This year, it’s more important than ever. The reason is the likely “double whammy” of seasonal flu while the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging.

Given the likelihood of two serious illnesses propagating at the same time, both of which may present similar symptoms, we should do all we can to reduce the chance of getting the disease that already has a vaccine (seasonal flu), thereby preserving healthcare resources for patients who need to be treated for COVID-19.

You may be wondering whether getting a flu shot would increase your chance of getting COVID-19.  No, the diseases are totally separate. Being immunized for one does not make you more susceptible to the other.

Flu shots are available now at pharmacies, doctor’s offices and health departments. So let’s all get vaccinated to avoid the preventable half of the “double whammy.”

Once you’ve had your flu shot, the next step will be to get vaccinated for Covid-19 when a vaccine is available. Unfortunately, recent news stories have made this a lot more complicated.

Early in the pandemic, experts predicted that a vaccine for Covid-19 won’t be available until at least the beginning of 2021, and possibly a lot later. We were also assured that once a vaccine is released in the U.S., it will have been tested thoroughly to be sure it’s safe and effective.

Now, motivated by political concerns, there seems to be a big push to release a vaccine by November 2020. This may require releasing a vaccine before completion of Phase 3 trials showing it to be safe and effective.

The situation may be changing rapidly. Watch the news carefully and wait until there’s a vaccine that trusted experts assure us is actually safe and effective. Once such a vaccine is available then, by all means, get vaccinated. Ending the pandemic will require vaccinating enough people to develop sufficient immunity in the population.

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This page last revised 2020-09-20
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