Fighting the flu, together

The single most effective way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated each year, and Premise Health has flu shots available to help you and those around you stay safe and healthy this flu season.

This year, it is especially important.

Things looked a little different last flu season as we all locked down and adjusted to life during a pandemic. Luckily, while we all covered our faces and avoided sharing germs, we had a pretty mild flu season. Now that so many people are back out in public, returning to work, school and other social settings, it’s important that you get your flu shot (and your COVID-19 vaccine if you haven’t already) to stay healthy and keep doing the things you love.

Why get the flu shot?

Getting vaccinated is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your community. Flu shots are highly effective at safeguarding your body from the virus, and they prevent many illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths caused by flu complications each year. The flu vaccine is approved for use for those six months and older, making it safe and accessible for most populations.

When is the best time to get a flu shot?

Flu season lasts from October through May and typically peaks between December and February. Because your body needs about two weeks to develop antibodies and start protecting you from the virus, it is recommended to get your vaccine in the fall, ideally by the end of October, before the height of flu season.

How do I get the flu shot?

Depending on your wellness center, Premise Health offers a variety of convenient ways to get your flu shot, including appointments, walk-ins, drive-through events and pharmacy vouchers. Be sure to check with your center or employer to find out how you can get your shot. For appointments, click below to schedule through My Premise Health.

Understanding common flu symptoms and how the virus spreads

The general understanding in the science community is that when someone has the flu, they transmit the virus by coughing, sneezing or speaking, which sends infected droplets into the air. If you are in contact with these droplets, you could catch the flu. It is also possible, but not as likely, to get sick from touching an infected surface and then touching your nose, mouth or eyes.

The flu is highly contagious and can spread very quickly. When someone has the flu, they are most infectious during the first few days of showing symptoms. However, the flu can spread one day prior to symptom onset and up to one week after side effects disappear. Some populations, such as children and those with weaker immune systems, may be contagious for a longer period.

Common flu symptoms include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children)
Illustrated image of a woman sitting on a yellow couch next to a box of tissues, holding a tissue in her hand

Flu symptoms vs. COVID-19

Although the flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory diseases, they are caused by different
viruses, affect people differently and are not treated the same way. They also have different consequences. While the flu can certainly make a person very sick and result in hospitalization, COVID-19 is more deadly than seasonal flu. Also, the flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19 and vice-versa.

Getting vaccinated for both viruses is important to keep you healthy. For additional information on COVID-19, the different types of vaccines available or to learn more about life after vaccination, visit our COVID-19 Resource Center or contact your wellness center.

Did you know?

It is safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot at the same time. Check with your wellness center to see if they have both.

More flu prevention tips

Aside from getting your flu shot, there are additional everyday steps you can take to further protect yourself from catching or spreading the virus.

Keep your hands clean.

Avoid contact with those who are sick.

Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

Stay home if you are sick.

Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Wear a mask according to local guidelines.

If you have flu-like symptoms or think you may be getting sick, one of the best things you can do is stay home and avoid close contact with others. Even if you are a healthy individual without any medical conditions, keep in mind that high risk populations, such as young children, adults over the age of 65, pregnant women and those with chronic medical conditions are more susceptible to flu-related complications. This flu season, let’s fight the flu together and keep each other safe.

How to treat the flu should you (still) get it

For most healthy individuals, the flu is short-term and usually lasts around three to seven days. To recover as quickly as possible, make sure to get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and use over-the-counter medications as needed. Your Premise Health wellness center or pharmacy may carry products to treat fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and other flu symptoms at a low cost. If you would like any recommendations for over-the-counter flu medications, contact your center or schedule an appointment with your provider. 

When to seek medical treatment

If you are pregnant, over the age of 65 or have chronic medical conditions and think you could have the flu, it is best to schedule an appointment with your provider as soon as you can. As your partner in health, your Premise Health provider will determine the best care plan for your specific needs and likely prescribe an antiviral treatment to help you feel better as quickly as possible.

Warning signs that you could need medical attention right away

  • Shortness of breath
  • Ongoing chest pain
  • Dizziness or unsteadiness
  • Severe muscle aches
  • Seizures
  • Worsening of flu symptoms or other medical conditions
  • Severe weakness
Remember, getting your vaccine is the best way to prevent flu-related complications in the first place. If you need medical care, schedule a virtual visit* from home to prevent spreading the virus, or set up an in-person appointment with your trusted provider as soon as possible.

*To conduct a local virtual visit, you must be in the same state which your provider is licensed.

Debunking flu myths

There are many misconceptions surrounding the flu and vaccination. With so much conflicting information out there, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. Premise Health is here to debunk these common myths and help you feel more confident in your decision to get the flu shot.

Here are the facts.

The vaccine is made of a killed or weakened version of the influenza virus that cannot infect you with the flu. It may trigger an immune response with mild, short-term side effects, such as soreness at the injection site, fever, fatigue or body aches, but you will not get the flu from a flu shot.

Pregnant women are at a high risk for complications from the flu, so it is highly encouraged that they get a flu shot to protect themselves and the baby during pregnancy and after childbirth. Doing so will also protect the baby during their first months of life while they are too young to get vaccinated.

The influenza virus is always changing, so it’s important to get vaccinated every flu season and stay protected from the most current form. Also, the immunity that you build after getting your shot declines over time.

The flu and common cold can have similar symptoms, but colds are typically much milder. The flu can lead to complications such as pneumonia, worsening of chronic conditions, hospitalization and even death, which can all be prevented by getting a flu shot.

Trusted flu resources

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To learn more about this year’s flu season, the flu vaccine and how to best protect yourself and those around you, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for additional information.

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