Flu Shot Recommendations During COVID-19 Pandemic

Goldendale, WA, September 21, 2020 – The Klickitat County Health Department recommends flu shots for county residents annually and this year is especially important due to the widespread COVID-19 virus. While still uncertain, the CDC is estimating that the seasonal flu and COVID-19 will be circulating at the same time this fall and winter. For this reason, it is vital that all of our community members, ages six months and older, get the yearly flu vaccine. 

By getting a flu vaccine, you can protect your health while reducing your risk for flu illness, hospitalization, and death. Also, preventing the spread of the flu means more healthcare resources can be used for COVID-19 patients. 

As with any other essential activity, it is recommended that you wear a mask, maintain a six foot social distance, use hand sanitizer, and wash your hands when you get home after getting your flu shot. If you are over 65 years of age or high risk, you may be able to get your flu shot during special hours at your local pharmacy. 

“Klickitat County Health Department highly recommends that all citizens over six months of age get a flu vaccine in order to prevent the spread of the seasonal flu during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, it’s important that we continue to wear face coverings when in public, wash or sanitize our hands often, and stay home when we feel sick,” states Erinn Quinn, Director for Klickitat County Public Health.

General information about the flu vaccine:

  • There are many different flu viruses. Vaccines are created every year to fight the most common flu viruses in the U.S. that year (typically 3-4 specific viruses). 
  • This year, the vaccine was changed to better fight the flu viruses that will likely be circulating this 2020-2021 flu season. 
  • The flu vaccine will not prevent you from getting COVID-19 since they are different viruses. 
  • It is possible to have COVID-19 and the seasonal flu at the same time. Signs and symptoms of the flu virus and COVID-19 are similar and lab testing is required to know which virus you may have contracted. For more information on the differences between the flu and COVID-19 visit this website: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm
  • September and October are the best months to get vaccinated but you can still get them up until January. By getting vaccinated now, you are protected for the entire flu season. Getting vaccinated prior to September is not recommended since it will not protect you throughout the entire flu season. 
  • Find a location where you can get the flu vaccine on this website: https://www.vaccinefinder.org/

You can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and the seasonal flu by wearing a face mask that covers your nose and mouth when you are in public, washing your hands, and staying home when you are sick. It is also highly recommended that the public avoid large gatherings and events even if they are hosted outside. If you are currently experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your primary care provider about getting tested. Anyone with symptoms can be tested in Klickitat County by calling to make an appointment at Klickitat Valley Health, Skyline Health, or Northshore Medical Group. 

About Klickitat County Public Health
Klickitat County Public Health is always working for a safer and healthier community.  As the region’s public health leader and partner, we are committed to excellence through innovative programs, community partnerships and a fundamental dedication to promote and protect the health of all Klickitat County residents. 
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For More Information:
Klickitat County Public Health: www.klickitatcounty.org/289/Public-Health
Klickitat Valley Health: www.kvhealth.net
Skyline Health: www.myskylinehealth.org
Northshore Medical Group: www.northshore-medical.com
COVID-19 Risk Assessment Dashboard: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/what-you-need-know/covid-19-risk-assessment-dashboard
CDC Frequently Asked Influenza (Flu) Questions: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2020-2021.htm