This story appeared in 9&10 NEWS. Read the full story here.

The flu shot makes headlines every year but even more so this year during a global pandemic. The flu vaccines are available right now and certain age groups and people with underlying health conditions are being advised to get them.

Chief Medical Officer with Munson Healthcare, Christine Nefcy has some recommendations about the flu vaccine in relation to what we’re experiencing with COVID-19.

“The influenza vaccine is always an important intervention to protect those vulnerable populations in our communities. It also helps reduce the burden of respiratory illness. So, even during the normal flu or winter season that would be important, but during a pandemic like this it’s even more important,” says Dr. Nefcy.

Dr. Nefcy explains how the flu vaccine works once it’s in our bodies.

“We know that the flu shot does not cause the flu. Certainly, it can cause an immune response that makes people feel maybe a little under the weather for a day or two after and some people confuse that with getting the flu but that is not the case. We also know that people who are hospitalized with the flu, typically about 80% of those never got their flu vaccine, so you know the flu vaccines work,” says Dr. Nefcy.

The flu vaccine acts as an added shield to keep our bodies protected from respiratory illnesses that could weaken the body and ultimately make us more prone to illness.

“They’re protective and again in an unusual time like we have now where we have COVID-19 out there which is, you know, much more virulent than normal influenza. You know, it’s just one extra step you can take to protect yourself from getting yet another illness,” says Dr. Nefcy.

For more information about the flu vaccine and a direct link to Munson Healthcare click here.