The Charlotte County Department of Health is urging residents to contact their health care providers or pharmacies to get vaccinated against the flu as soon as possible. Once vaccinated, it takes about two weeks to offer protection.
Getting the flu shot each year is important, but reducing illness and hospitalization from flu is even more critical this year to protect frontline health care workers and hospital systems who will continue to care for people with COVID-19 and other illnesses, according to the Department. Also, having the flu and COVID-19 at the same time could lead to a negative outcome.
The flu and COVID-19 are respiratory illnesses, but until there is a steady vaccine supply against COVID-19, the way to help prevent these two viruses from circulating at the same time is to get your flu vaccine now.
Additionally, there will be less spread of the flu and COVID-19 if everyone continues to:
- Stay home when sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Wash their hands frequently and thoroughly
- Wear a face covering when around others or if social distancing isn’t possible
“Frequently washing your hands, staying home while sick, and receiving a flu shot are the best ways to protect against and prevent the spread of the influenza virus,” said Joseph Pepe, health officer for the Charlotte County Department of Health.
The Department offers free flu vaccinations for children from 6 months to 18 years old. Vaccines for adults are available for $26.64. Appointments can be made by calling (941) 624-7200.