To the many Yale community members already committed to yearly influenza vaccine (flu shots), thank you for your dedication to your own health and that of the community. You know that the vaccine is safe and prevents the flu for many while decreasing the need for hospitalizations by reducing the severity of symptoms in those who become ill. You realize that getting the flu shot protects those around you with decreased immunity and heightened risk of illness. No doubt, you are also aware that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends the flu shot for everyone 6 months or older.
For those who are not yet decided, please consider that the influenza vaccine is even more important today than in the past because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While flu shots do not prevent COVID-19, they offer important personal and public health benefits:
- Influenza vaccine prevents flu and/or decreases severity of flu in those who become infected.
- Because COVID-19 and flu cause similar symptoms, reducing flu in our community will expedite evaluation of patients with respiratory infections.
- Patients with seasonal flu fill our hospitals during the winter, and the vaccine is a critically important strategy to reduce avoidable hospitalization and free up beds for those with COVID-19 and other serious illnesses.
- Getting a flu shot helps your community; it prevents you from spreading the disease to infants, pregnant women, patients with immunosuppression and those with medical conditions who cannot take the vaccine.
The CDC provides valuable information about influenza, the vaccine and steps you can take to avoid getting sick with flu.
Yale Health is offering new options for getting your flu shot this year for all members of our community, regardless of Yale Health enrollment. These options are convenient and safe because you will not encounter crowds. As always, we will make high-dose vaccine available as a choice for those over age 65. Please review the options for getting your flu shot this year with the Find Your Flu Shot Tool and make the choice that works best for you. Yale Health’s flu pagehas additional information and will be updated throughout the flu season.
I strongly urge you to take advantage of this important Yale Health service as we strive to sustain a healthy Yale. Thank you for doing your part to make Yale an influenza-free zone.
With best wishes for a healthy flu season,
Paul Genecin, MD
CEO, Yale Health