Get the Flu Shot and Live Life Full Speed Ahead

 

It’s that time of the year again, when all those eligible should be getting their flu shot to better protect themselves against influenza, which will also improve their protection against contracting COVID-19, health experts say.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the African American and Black communityare an especially vulnerable and under-vaccinated population. In general, this community experiences disproportionately higher rates of chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, heart diseases and obesity, said Dr. Branden Turner, a family practice physician with Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Medical Offices.

 

According to research, systemic inequities and implicit bias have contributed to this disparity among African Americans, which place them at higher risks for more severe influenza complications, Dr. Turner explained.

 

Getting the flu vaccine is especially important for the most sensitive populations, according to Dr. Turner. They include people ages 65 and older, pregnant women, children younger than five years of age, along with those with chronic health conditions.

 

When it comes to children who have never received the flu vaccine before, those under age 8 will need to receive two flu shots, with a booster vaccine given 28 days after the first inoculation, Dr. Turner said. He strongly encouraged parents to vaccinate their children this year, as many have resumed in-person learning at their schools, and will be more susceptible to being infected with the flu virus as they interact with other students and teachers.

 

Dr. Turner also cautioned against misconceptions related to the flu vaccine.

 

“Some believe that a flu shot will give you the flu, but thatis absolutely not true,” Dr. Turner stressed. “Also, if side effects occur, they’re typically mild. However, by not getting vaccinated, you put yourself and your loved ones at a greater risk of getting the flu, which causes serious illness, hospitalizations and thousands of deaths each year.”

 

Kaiser Permanente members are encouraged to visit kp.org/flu for information on how to safely get their flu vaccine at one of the many Kaiser Permanente facilities across Southern California. For a list of flu clinics in the West Los Angeles area, please visit kp.org/westlosangeles.

8 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All