Everett Residents Urged To Get Flu Shots By End Of October

October 8, 2021


The Snohomish Health District Friday issued the following update and advisory as it pertains to both COVID-19 and the Flu vaccinations.

The recommendation is to get your flu shot by the end of the month.

The two-week case rate has continued to decrease slightly in recent weeks, now currently at 397 per 100,000 residents for the period ending October 2, but transmission levels are still high. Hospitals also continue to remain full, with bed occupancy running at or above 95 percent in both intensive care and general medical-surgical beds countywide. As of October 8, there were 69 beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, 18 of them requiring mechanical ventilation to breathe.

We still have ongoing staffing shortages in acute and long-term care settings, which will be further stressed by what is projected to be a potentially severe flu season, along with updated modeling that projects another increase in COVID cases in December. This is why health officials are urging everyone eligible to get both their flu and COVID vaccines now.

Flu activity was kept low last season because of vaccination, social distancing, masking, school closures and limited travel. Now that pandemic restrictions are lifting, flu has a much higher chance of spreading. We can all do our part to prevent illness and hospitalizations by getting vaccinated and continuing to practice all the standard COVID prevention measures throughout the coming months.

“We are in a very different situation than we were last fall and winter,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for the Snohomish Health District. “Last year’s absence of flu transmission in the community likely won’t be the case this year. While the timing and magnitude of the upcoming flu season is uncertain, Snohomish County residents can take steps today to minimize the impact locally. First and foremost, get vaccinated.”

A yearly flu vaccine is recommended for everyone aged six-months and older, including pregnant and nursing people. For protection of healthcare system capacity, it is particularly important for healthcare workers, adults 65 years of age and older, and others with underlying medical conditions to get vaccinated. If you are 65 or older, talk to your provider about flu vaccine and other important vaccines for your age group.

Flu and COVID-19 vaccines can both be received in the same day, or even the same visit for convenience. You may visit your local doctor’s office, pharmacy or clinic event in your area. See www.vaccinefinder.org or call the Help Me Grow Washington hotline at 1-800-322-2588 (language assistance available) to find a flu vaccine location near you.

In Washington, all children under 19 can get flu vaccines and other recommended vaccines at no cost. The provider may charge an administration fee to give the vaccine. You can ask them to waive this fee if you cannot afford it. Most insurance plans, including Medicare part B, cover the cost of flu vaccine for adults.

It takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to protect you from flu. It’s best to get your family vaccinated for flu by October to receive maximum benefit, but flu vaccine is still available throughout the winter. It’s never too late to get the flu vaccine.

The flu vaccine does not protect against coronavirus, colds, or other viruses that cause respiratory illness, but it does keep many people from getting the flu. Some people who get the flu vaccine may still get sick. If you do get the flu, the vaccine will help reduce the severity of your illness. It will also lower your chance of needing to go to the hospital.

You may also stop flu by covering your coughs and sneezes, washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, and staying home when you’re sick. Cloth face coverings or masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the flu. If you do feel sick, it’s important to know when to stay home and when to get emergency medical care.

About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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