In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, you must now do everything possible to strengthen your immune system and to protect yourself from any potential infection during the coming months. The COVID-19 vaccines will soon be accessible to the public. While this is an extremely positive step towards ending the pandemic, we must continue to do everything in our power to reduce our risk of infection and stay healthy. We urge you to have the flu vaccination soon to avoid the risk of developing severe flu and flu-related complications.
Why the flu vaccination is a must in the context of COVID-19
- Flu vaccination has been proven to prevent flu-related complications that result in hospitalisation and death. Vaccinating people who are at high-risk of severe flu infection directly protects them from these flu-related complications.
- As COVID-19 symptoms often overlap with those of flu, it may be hard to tell if you have flu or COVID-19 without testing for COVID-19.
- Getting a flu vaccination will, therefore, lessen the burden on the healthcare system, creating capacity for doctors and hospitals to focus more on treating people infected with COVID-19.
- The flu is not the same as the common cold. Influenza (flu) is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system - your nose, throat and lungs. Particularly in higher-risk groups, the flu can lead to serious, life threatening complications - especially worsening of existing health problems and pneumonia.
- Think about those you love. Lower their chances of becoming sick. Just like the COVID-19 virus, if you are healthy, you can't pass on the virus to other people. Think especially about those who are at high risk of getting flu, including infants less than six months old who are too young to get a flu injection.
Does the timing of my vaccination matter?
To get the full benefits of the vaccination, you ideally want to have it before the flu season hits and the virus starts to spread. So, to maximise your immunity, have the flu vaccination in early April as it becomes available.
Clinical guidance also suggests that you get the flu vaccination and the COVID-19 vaccination about two weeks apart. Make sure to have your flu vaccination now so that, as soon as you are eligible for your COVID-19 vaccination, you can play your part to #VaccinateSA.
Find a pharmacy or GP near you
Cover for the cost of the flu vaccine
SAB Medical Aid pays the cost of one seasonal flu vaccine in full for every beneficiary, from your Wellness Benefit every year.
Ask about the administering of the vaccine
We pay the professional services for the administration of the vaccine, including the consultation and pharmacy administration fee, from your day to day benefits. However, not all pharmacies charge a fee for the administration of the flu vaccine. Please find out from your local pharmacy.
Remember, getting the flu vaccination can save lives, especially now when health and immunity is so important. Encourage your friends, family and loved ones who are at risk to have their flu vaccination too.