Get flu shots now to avoid getting sick and further straining health system, health officials urge

Alabama’s state health officer urges Alabamians to get flu shotsas soon as possible.”

Talk with your family doctor or pharmacist about getting your seasonal flu or any other vaccinations, the Alabama Department of Public Health, the Alabama Hospital Association and the Medical Association of the State of Alabama recommend. Vaccinations are also available at your county health department. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to be effective and flu season can last until May.

While flu activity is currently low, influenza outbreaks tend to occur during the winter months,” a November release from the state’s three major health organizations states.

Flu vaccines will not prevent COVID-19, but they will reduce the burden of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths on the health care system,” said Dr. Scott Harris. He said flu vaccines “reduce the chances of possible misdiagnosis and even worse, getting both diseases at the same time.” Flu and the COVID-19 disease share many of the same symptoms, like fever, headache, sore throat, muscle aches and fatigue, which may make it more difficult to diagnose and treat.

For businesses battling staffing challenges and employee health issues from two dueling infections, Alabama Retail’s employment law partner, Lehr Middlebrooks Vreeland & Thompson, shares these considerations for requiring or encouraging flu vaccines this fall. LMVT also offers information about employment law related to COVID-19 vaccines.

For more information, read the Centers for Disease Control flu FAQs.

ADPH recommends you Do 10 to Fight the Flu:

  1.  Get Vaccinated
  2.  Wash Your Hands
  3.  Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes
  4.  Stay Home With Fever
  5.  Stockpile Supplies
  6.  Clean and Disinfect
  7. Know Your Office Emergency Plan
  8. Learn Home Care
  9. Call Your Doctor If Symptoms Get Worse
  10. Stay Informed
Download Ten Things You Can Do to Help Fight the Flu poster for your workplace.

Another flu resource on this website: 

Teach Your Employees ‘How to Be Sick‘: Training employees to stay home when they’re not feeling well and during the infectious stages of illnesses will help you minimize decreased productivity by ensuring that when employees are on the job, they’re working at full capacity.

Originally posted Sept. 27, 2020