How to Prepare for the 2020 Flu Season

How to Prepare for the 2020 Flu Season

Leah Miller

Flu shot season technically begins in August and ends in March, but many doctors have recommended getting the shot in October, before the season begins to get ugly.

Students have shared their concerns over this year’s flu shot season. Kasey Ponce, 19, business major, stated that she doesn’t get them and that she believes this season might be worse for kids who haven’t been exposed after going back to school because of the enhanced COVID-19 restrictions.

Frances Spahits, 19, am electrical engineering and technology major, said, “I think that it’s going to be better because of masks. Nobody has been sick unless it is the Coronavirus. Everyone is extremely aware because of it.”

Spahits also stated that when everything goes back to normal, people will begin to get sick again because of the loosening of cleaning standards.

Dr. Constance Corrigan, professor and Dean of Health Sciences at Bucks County Community College stated, “The best thing that could happen is that everyone got a flu shot who is able to take the shot. Ideally you should have the shot before the end of October, but if that deadline has gone by, it’s not too late! As long as there are injections available, flu shots can be administered at any time. There is a bit of a lag time between the injection and when your body develops immunity which is why October is the best time.”

Wendy Gangi, a Bucks alumnus, is a pharmacist in Perkasie for Rite Aid. Gangi relayed that a lot of people have been coming in for a multitude of reasons such as preparedness, fear, or that their workplace does not accommodate the service anymore.

Gangi stated that once receiving the shot, it takes about two weeks before the shot is fully effective. The vaccine is not “live” and the shot is meant to give the influenza strains in an effective way so that a person’s body can create antibodies to protect themselves against whatever strain may hit during the season.

Gangi stressed the importance of the shot and recommended getting one if possible. Gangi also recommends taking antioxidants to further one’s protection against any illness this winter season may bring.

While health officials recommend getting the flu shot, pharmacists like Gangi can also offer alternative ideas to keep yourself healthy, as well as the encouragement of the adherence to COVD-19 guidelines with frequent handwashing and the use of masks.

“Not getting it is that person’s choice, and a lot of people are concerned about what are in shots,” said Gangi about the suspicions surrounding vaccines. Gangi also encourages that people be respectful of whatever an individual chooses.