It’s Time to Get Your Flu Shot

By: Shaun Horton, MBA, RN, CENP
Chief Nursing Officer, OUMC Edmond

Reducing the spread of illnesses like the flu is more important than ever this year and getting the flu shot is the best way to prevent the misery of the flu. A yearly vaccination is needed for the best protection since the flu viruses are constantly changing and vaccines are updated from one season to the next. Every year the flu vaccination prevents illnesses, doctor visits, hospitalizations and deaths.

Influenza is a respiratory infection that can cause serious complications particularly in older adults and people with chronic health conditions. Chronic medical conditions can also increase your risk of complications from the flu. Some examples include asthma, cancer, COPD, diabetes, and kidney or liver disease. While some people who get the vaccine still get sick, the flu vaccination may reduce the severity of illness so it’s worth getting. The flu vaccine has a good safety record and has been safely given over the last 50 years to hundreds of millions of Americans. Every year the CDC works with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other partners to ensure the highest safety standards for flu vaccines.

The flu vaccine does not protect you from getting COVID-19. However, it’s especially important to get the flu vaccine this season because the flu and COVID-19 cause similar symptoms. Flu vaccination could reduce symptoms that might be confused with those caused by COVID-19. Preventing the flu and reducing the severity of flu illness and hospitalizations could also lessen the number of people needing to stay in the hospital.

The flu shot is covered by Medicare and most insurances and you can safely get a flu shot at multiple places like your pharmacy, doctor’s office and urgent care clinics. You should get the flu shot in the early fall since it takes about 2 weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu. You can visit to see the locations offering vaccinations near you.



1. A Strong Defense Against Flu: Get Vaccinated. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Oct. 8, 2020
2. Mayo Clinic Staff. Flu shot: your best bet for avoiding influenza. Rochester, Minn. Accessed Oct. 8, 2020


Shaun Horton, MBA, RN, CENP
Chief Nursing Officer, OUMC Edmond