Each year, there are countless reasons for healthy people to receive the influenza vaccine as flu season arrives. From fever and coughing to body aches and vomiting, the symptoms associated with viral influenza are unpleasant at best—and they can be life-threatening at worst, especially in immunocompromised and other at-risk individuals.
Getting a flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against flu and its potentially serious complications. Vaccination is the best and medically preferred approach to protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your communities from the preventable effects of the flu.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of yearly vaccination against the flu, as well as how individuals across the country can get their shot and receive other healthcare support from free and charitable clinics and pharmacies, as well as their partners, made possible through the NAFC CVS Health Grant Program.
- The Importance of Yearly Flu Vaccination
- Increasing Access to Flu Vaccinations
- How to Get Your Vaccine
The Importance of Yearly Flu Vaccination
The flu is a potentially fatal disease that can result in hospitalization and, in rare cases, death. Every flu season is unique, and as influenza can affect people differently and in a wide variety of ways, it's essential to the health and well-being of all that each person receives their flu shot—a safe, easy, and effective way to protect ourselves and others each flu season.
Each year, the flu is responsible for sending more than 200,000 individuals to the hospital for a range of symptoms affecting the most important parts of the body—especially those related to the respiratory system, like the lungs and nose.
With hundreds of thousands of people hospitalized each year and thousands to tens of thousands dying from flu-related causes, the yearly flu vaccination is critical to sustaining healthy communities for all of us.
Increasing Access to Flu Vaccinations
The NAFC is grateful to our partner organizations and companies like CVS Health for continuing to support the healthcare needs of communities across the United States. This year, select NAFC member organizations across the country were able to address their flu vaccine needs by creating or expanding their flu vaccination programs through funding provided by the NAFC CVS Health 2020-2021 Flu Vaccination Grant Program.
Through this program, 32 NAFC clinics across the country have been given the resources to expand their vaccination programs through funding for lifesaving resources such as vaccines, medical-grade refrigerators, and other medical supplies. Some clinics were able to expand access to vaccines by creating drive-up vaccine clinics, utilizing mobile units, and collaborating with local community centers and churches.
In addition to the support through the NAFC CVS Flu Vaccine Grant Program, many Free and Charitable Clinics work with other NAFC partners and their local partners to provide access to flu vaccines in their communities. Through these resources, our clinics and pharmacies across the country aim to raise awareness about the dangers associated with low vaccination rates and encourage all individuals to get their annual flu shot to promote healthier, happier communities for all.
How to Get Your Vaccine
If you haven’t already received your flu vaccine, you can visit an online vaccine finder and enter your zip code to find a location near you. You can also contact your local Free or Charitable Clinic or Pharmacy to see if they have flu vaccines available, or if they can help connect you with a vaccine clinic in your area – visit our website today!