Don’t let COVID-19 vaccine trials distract you from getting a flu shot

There’s no doubt that the coronavirus has our full attention in 2020. In fact, recent news seems to be focused on the latest status of the COVID-19 vaccination trials. While you continue to practice social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-washing, don’t forget to consider a flu shot–especially if you have a history of heart disease or stroke.

The CDC warns:

Studies have shown that flu illness is associated with an increase of heart attacks and stroke. A 2018 study found that the risk of heart attack was 6 times higher within a week of confirmed flu infection. These findings were most pronounced for older adults and those experiencing their first heart attack. Additionally, a 2020 study that looked at more than 80,000 U.S. adults hospitalized with flu over eight flu seasons (2010-11 through 2017-18) found that sudden, serious heart complications were common and occurred in one out of every eight patients (~12% of patients).

The good news is that getting your flu shot can not only reduce the general symptoms and risks associated with the flu but can result in a 10% lower risk of a heart attack in patients after hospitalization!

I know that some folks worry about the potential side effects of getting any vaccination. I, for one, will be watching closely for any issues with the new COVID-19 vaccine, but the flu shot is proven to be safe, year after year. In fact, the American Heart Association is urging anyone with a risk for heart disease or stroke to get their flu shot, as catching the flu can weaken your ability to avoid COVID-19.

I got my flu shot this year. A sore arm and 24 hours of lower energy were worth it to help avoid the greater dangers of catching the flu.

As always, I share only the advice that I feel is important to know. Speak to your doctor if you have any concerns.


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