Planning for the Holidays? Don’t Forget Your Flu Shot!

This promises to be a very different holidayseason for many families. With the coronavirus as an uninvited guest this year,large gatherings are out, and masks and social distancing are in. But healthcareprofessionals worry that with our collective focus on COVID-19, we’re forgettingabout the flu virus, whose seasonal spread is already well underway here inFlorida.

The good news is that a flu vaccine is widelyavailable – here and now – and getting your annual flu shot is easier than it’sever been.

Katie Acquino, D.O., medical director at Baptist Health Urgent Care in West Boca Raton

“With Thanksgiving a week or so away and the holidays just around the corner, a lot of people may be getting together and celebrating with their families, friends and colleagues,” says Katie Acquino, D.O., medical director at Baptist Health Urgent Care in West Boca Raton. “Although we don’t yet have a coronavirus vaccine, we do have a flu vaccine that’s readily available. And this is a year that you don’t want to skip your flu shot.”

Symptoms of the flu are largely similarto those of COVID-19, according to Dr. Acquino. Both can make you feelmiserable in lots of different ways, with fever, runny nose, cough, sorethroat, body aches, malaise and fatigue. “It’s even possible for someone tohave both at the same time,” she says. “If your symptoms also include loss ofsense of smell and taste, headaches or gastrointestinal symptoms such asdiarrhea, nausea and vomiting, that may indicate a COVID-19 infection.”

The twin threats of COVID-19 and the flu promise to make thisyear’s holiday season more challenging and stressful than usual. Dr. Acquinonotes that elevated stress – not uncommon around the holidays – can compromiseour immune systems, leaving us more vulnerable to infection from the flu,COVID-19 or other types of illness.

In-person gatherings that bring together family members orfriends from different households, including college students returning home,pose varying levels of risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control &Prevention (CDC). As you make your plans for the holidays, Dr. Acquino advisesfollowing CDC guidelines on how tocelebrate safely.

“If you want to protect yourself from the flu during the holidayseason, the time to get your flu shot is now,” says Dr. Acquino. “It takes acouple of weeks after vaccination for your body to develop the antibodies thatcan protect you from infection, so don’t delay,” she says.

To get your free Flu Shot, schedulean appointment today at your local Baptist Health Urgent Care or UrgentCare Express location.

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

Language Preference / Preferencia de idioma

I want to see the site in English

Continue In English

Quiero ver el sitio en Español

Continuar en español