Winter is coming, but there’s still time to get vaccinated against flu!

(BPT) – If you are living with certain chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes orasthma, you are at higher risk of developing serious complications from flu, like pneumonia, bronchitisand other illnesses that can lead to hospitalization or even death. Even if your chronic condition is well-controlled, flu can make your condition worse – it can trigger asthma attacks, increase the risk of heartdisease and stroke, and make your blood sugar harder to manage.

Flu vaccination is recommended toprotect you from severe flu-related illness and help keep your chronic condition under control.Every year, flu is responsible for millions of illnesses, tens of thousands of hospitalizations andthousands of deaths. Last flu season, 9 out of 10 adults hospitalized with flu had at least one reportedunderlying medical condition.

The most commonly reported underlying medical conditions in patientshospitalized for flu include heart disease, diabetes, obesity and chronic lung disease. A flu shot reducesyour risk of getting sick with flu, but even if getting a flu shot does not completely prevent fluinfection, some studies show that it can help reduce the severity of illness and prevent complicationsthat can result in hospitalization and death.Getting vaccinated against flu is always extra important for people with certain chronic conditions, butas the U.S. battles the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever.

Flu and COVID-19 togethercould overwhelm our medical systems. A flu shot this season can help protect you from flu and reduceyour risk of needing medical care for flu-related complications. We can all do our part to reduce thespread of flu and protect our loved ones and our community from flu, saving medical resources to carefor COVID-19 patients.There’s still time to get a flu shot. “Flu activity is still low right now, which means it’s a good time toget vaccinated,” says Dr. Dan Jernigan, Influenza Division Director at the Centers for Disease Controland Prevention.

“We don’t know what this season will bring, but we know that a flu vaccine can reducethe risk from flu. Part of our preparedness strategy this winter is to take flu out of the equation as muchas possible. Getting a flu vaccine can help do that so there is one less thing to worry about.” Hundredsof millions of flu shots have been safely given in the United States for decades. Data show that gettinga flu shot is the best way to protect against flu.Reduce your risks from flu this season.

Get vaccinated now to protect yourself, your loved ones andyour community from flu. We can all fight flu. Make it your priority today – go to tofind a vaccination location near you.

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