The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. Getting a flu vaccine during 2020-2021 will be more important than ever. 

Flu vaccines will not prevent COVID-19, but they will reduce the burden of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths on the health care system and conserve scarce medical resources for the care of people with COVID-19. 

CDC estimates that last season, fewer than half of Americans got a flu vaccine and at least 410,000 people were hospitalized from flu. Increased vaccination coverage would reduce that burden. 

Most flu vaccines protect against the four flu viruses that research suggests will be most common. 

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get annual flu vaccine by the end of October. 

Vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness. 

People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older. Many people at higher risk from flu also seem to be at higher risk from COVID-19. 

Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for people at higher risk to keep from spreading flu to them. This is especially true for people who work in long-term care facilities, which are home to many of the people most vulnerable to flu and COVID-19. 

Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for infants should be vaccinated instead.  

Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs. 

  • Take everyday preventive actions that are always recommended to reduce the spread of flu. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • If you are sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. 
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way. 
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with viruses that cause flu. 
  • For flu, CDC recommends that people stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities. Fever should be gone without the need to use a fever-reducing medicine. The stay-at-home guidance for COVID-19 may be different. 

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. Visit CDC’s website to find out what to do if you get sick with flu. 

 Sources : https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/prevention.htm