Public Health Corner: Get your flu shot

September is an important month in regards to emergency preparedness efforts. We encourage people to continue to take all the appropriate precautions to protect themselves and continue to move forward on the long journey related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Communities have many great attributes. In Brown County the people and the relationships are a very motivating factor to continue to keep our members and the community safe. There is always room for improvement of personal preparedness planning, social connections which matter now more than ever, and promoting resilience. For more resources on preparedness planning visit https://www.ready.gov or https://www.cdc.gov/prepyourhealth/planahead/index.htm?deliveryName=USCDC_964-DM37467

A key factor in preparedness planning for one critical component is staying healthy and informed. With that being said it would only be appropriate to shift gears and discuss keeping the community safe during the crossover of cold and flu season with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

As the fall approaches, so do other seasonal viral illnesses that have many similar if not many of the same symptoms as COVID-19, the main one of concern is influenza. While there is no way to predict the severity of the 2020-2021 influenza season, there is one particular measure that can be taken to lessen the impact, and that is receiving your annual flu shot.

Many experts in the medical communities including the CDC and MDH are in agreement that the best time to receive the flu shot is early September through October. Not only does getting the flu shot provide you protection against four different influenza strains likely to be circulating, it helps to build the herd immunity of our community, and will be an important factor in protecting our most valuable assets; the people of our community at greatest risk, our healthcare systems, school-aged children and under, and healthcare workers.

With a likely second wave of COVID-19 coming in fall, and winter months and peak flu season these two devastating viral illnesses will overlap leaving many individuals vulnerable to severe illnesses. Influenza may not be as deadly as COVID, but it is still very dangerous to many, and the two viral illnesses will no doubt be in competition for the same resources to help flu patients and COVID patients fight the virus. Please do your part and spread the love not the bug, receive your annual flu shot at any local provider. Uninsured, no problem, we’ve got you, call your local public health department to schedule an appointment.

Locally Brown County is beginning planning stages and preparations for flu shot clinics at high risk facilities, and planning to assist local providers to some capacity with community flu shot clinics. If you hold a valid medical license and the appropriate credentials for administering vaccine and would like to assist in providing flu vaccinations to the members of the community please sign up to be a volunteer to support our efforts at https://www.mn.responds.org.


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