Time to protect yourself against the flu

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To the Editor:

It’s flu season — and that means it's time to take precautions to protect yourself, family, co-workers and community.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone who is eligible and at least six months old get a flu shot, preferably by the end of October. Getting your shot now is important because it can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to build immunity.

The annual flu survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of CVS Pharmacy in July 2018 among over 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and up, found that only two-thirds (66 percent) of those surveyed get a flu vaccine every year, or plan to get one this year. While it’s a 5 percent increase from last year’s survey findings, we must do better — and that includes our habits when we don’t feel well.

Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed would still go to work if they had flu-like symptoms — up two percent from a year ago. The biggest reasons for going to work while ill are not wanting to use paid time off (44 percent), lost wages (38 percent) and company expectations (37 percent). Flu-like symptoms also haven’t stopped people from going to the supermarket (28 percent), picking up children from school or daycare (12 percent), or taking public transportation (10 percent).

For all these reasons, get your flu shot now.

Here’s one more: The flu vaccine is considered a preventive service under the Affordable Care Act, so it’s fully covered and available at no cost through most insurance plans.

Emmaley Russell, PharmD

District Leader, CVS Pharmacy

Carlisle, Pa.

Dorothy Hart, R.Ph.

District Leader, CVS Pharmacy

West Chester, Pa.

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