What to do while you wait for the COVID-19 vaccine
2020 taught us how to protect ourselves and the most vulnerable from the COVID-19 virus.
As you wait to get the COVID-19 vaccine, it's important to continue to follow the tried-and-true COVID-19 safety measures: wear a mask; maintain physical distancing and avoid large gatherings; wash your hands regularly, and stay home if you're sick.
Gundersen pediatric allergist/immunologist Todd Mahr, MD, also urges those who have not received the flu shot to get it. Here's why:
The flu shot works. While the flu vaccine will not protect you from COVID-19, it is between 50 to 70% effective in preventing the flu. By being protected from flu, you'll help reduce the need for doctors' visits, the risk of developing fever and respiratory symptoms, and therefore the risk of being quarantined.
You'll protect others. By having a flu shot and reducing the prevalence of the flu in your community, you'll not only protect yourself but also the most vulnerable groups (those over age 65, people with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and young children) from potentially getting the disease.
You'll ease the strain on healthcare organizations. This year, of all years, there is a tremendous societal benefit in getting your flu shot. You will help reduce the number of people who need medical attention and hospitalization for those contracting the flu.
An initial supply of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Gundersen Health System on Dec. 21, with priority given to frontline healthcare workers and long-term care residents. As soon as supply is available to everyone in the coming months, Gundersen will send a vaccination appointment request through MyChart, our secure patient portal, and notify you by mail. Streamline the vaccination scheduling process by registering now for MyChart, if you don't already have an account.
Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine.