With all the talk of COVID-19, it’s easy to forget that the annual flu season is upon us. With all of the COVID-19 prevention procedures in place, is a flu shot really necessary this year? The answer, of course, is YES! Getting a flu shot will reduce your chances of getting and spreading the flu, which will in turn lessen the load on our medical professionals and hospitals. By getting a flu shot, you are doing your small part to help our community stay healthier and safer.

Still not convinced? Here are some reasons to consider a flu shot this year, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC.gov).

  • Every year, flu vaccination prevents illnesses, medical visits, hospitalizations, and deaths.
  • Flu vaccination also is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions. For example flu vaccination has been associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among in people with heart disease.
  • Vaccinating pregnant women helps protect them from flu illness and hospitalization, and also has been shown to help protect the baby from flu infection for several months after birth, before the baby can be vaccinated.
  • A 2017 study showed that flu vaccine can be life-saving in children.
  • While some people who get vaccinated still get sick, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness.

Why is it important to get a flu vaccine EVERY year?

  • Flu viruses are constantly changing, so flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the viruses that research suggests will be common during the upcoming flu season.
  • Your protection from a flu vaccine declines over time. Yearly vaccination is needed for the best protection.

Where can I get a flu shot in Bartholomew County?

Of course, as in years past, you can receive your annual flu shot from your primary care provider. Columbus Regional Health also offers drive-thru flu shots on a scheduled basis, for patients who have a Columbus Regional Health primary care provider. To schedule a drive-thru flu shot, call your primary care office and ask to place a drive-thru flu shot appointment at a designated site.

Drive-thru clinics will take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the next several weeks. The team member in the office will schedule a time for you to arrive and provide instructions. The vaccination will take approximately 5 minutes to perform, and information will be provided about what to expect during and after your experience. All patients should wear a mask during their drive-thru visit.

Don’t have a Columbus Regional Health Primary Care provider? Call WellConnect at 812-376-5136.

In addition, flu shots are often provided by local pharmacies like CVS, Kroger, Target, Walgreens and Walmart, or by many employers. Check with your employer or favorite pharmacy to see if flu shots will be offered and the associated costs to you.