ELKINS — Medical providers are expecting more flu cases this season as the use of mask wearing and social distancing have decreased.
“Last flu season we saw very few cases of influenza largely because the majority of the population was wearing masks, social distancing, and avoiding large crowd events,” said Dr. Catherine “Mindy” Chua, DO, FAAFP, FMNM, CPE, and Chief Medical Officer for Davis Health System (DHS).
“This year there is less precautionary activity going on and with colleges, schools and many restaurants and businesses re-opened, it’s a good idea to schedule your flu vaccine,” Chua added.
Generally, flu season begins in October and runs through May, peaking in December through February.
The CDC recommends anyone six months and older, with few exceptions, should be vaccinated for flu. Check with your primary care provider for information on who should not receive the vaccine.
“October is the best time for receiving the flu vaccine because it offers protection during the peak months,” said Chua. “Davis Health System offers a number of free community flu shot clinics. The vaccine is also available from your PCP and at some pharmacy and retail locations.”
The flu vaccine is safe for those who have been vaccinated against COVID 19. According to the CDC, both vaccines can be administered at the same time. The vaccine is also safe for pregnant women. Again, consult your physician if you have concerns or questions about influenza during pregnancy.
Visit the Davis Health System Facebook page facebook.com/DHSWV/ for information, locations and times of free 2021 Community Flu Clinics, or call DMC Community Health at (304) 637-3378.