How you can help #FlattenTheFlu

Jacy Gomez
November 20, 2020

Even in a global pandemic, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed: the need to get a flu shot.

In fact, receiving a flu shot is more important than ever to avoid burdening the hospitals and health care professionals hard at work fighting Covid-19.

Here’s why it’s important to be protected from the flu:

  • The flu has caused between 9 million and 45 million illnesses, up to 810,000 hospitalizations, and between 12,000 and 61,000 deaths each year since 2010, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Flu season costs our nation billions of dollars annually in direct hospitalizations and health care costs as well as lost productivity.
  • Roughly half of all U.S. adults forgo a flu shot each year.

Knowing these risks – and knowing the current strains placed on our health system with rising Covid-19 cases – key health groups, led by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) and International Federation of Ageing (IFA), have launched a #FlattenTheFlu international campaign.

The #FlattenTheFlu campaign exists to promote flu vaccination and raise awareness about the current stressors on our health systems. Consider that:

  • The flu vaccine can take a substantial strain off our health care system, which will already be coping—in overdrive—with COVID,” according to Vanderbilt’s Dr. William Schaffner on a recent episode of the I AM BIO Podcast.  
  • It can help build herd immunity to protect certain at-risk populations, including health care workers, adults over the age of 65, and patients living with chronic medical conditions, who face greater risk of flu-related complications, hospitalization, and death.
  • It can reduce individual risk, by preventing infections or making them less severe, and reducing risk of coinfection with influenza/coronavirus.

What can you do to flatten the flu?