According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) “flu season” is usually in winter, which would generally be from April to September in Botswana. This means that flu season is upon us once again though most people might have forgotten about it due to bigger concerns such as the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the impact of flu on one’s health should never be ignored as it could be lethal.
Upon contracting the influenza, a person may experience a sudden onset of fever, cough, headaches, muscle and joint pain, sore throat, and a runny nose. Symptoms in some people tend to be mild however, it can happen that high-risk groups experience flu more severely and result in loss of life. This means that getting a flu shot is always a good pre-emptive measure to reduce the amount of potential health issues especially during this time of COVID-19.
Furthermore, the flu vaccine should be taken annually or seasonally for two reasons. First, a person’s immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the viruses that research suggests may be most common during the upcoming flu season.
Though we can try to protect ourselves by practising good hygiene such as sanitising hands or coughing into a tissue or elbow, the best way to protect oneself is by getting the flu vaccine. Bomaid has seen to it that its members can receive the flu shot completely free of charge without the 10% co-payment or the 14% VAT. The vaccine is available to all members ages across all health plans to maintain the health and wellness of its members. According to WHO, it is usually the case that people vaccinated for flu are less likely to infect other people around them. This in turn helps minimise hospitalising people with flu as hospitals are currently dealing with a high influx of COVID 19 cases.
With recent studies showing that a flu vaccine can reduce the risk of the illness by between 40% and 60% receiving the shot is an important step in protecting yourself and other people in the high-risk group. The high-risk group includes pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy, children younger than five years, people older than 65 years, people with chronic medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS, asthma, heart and lung diseases and diabetes and importantly health care workers especially those in the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.
To find out more about the New Benefits and other related benefits visit the website https://www.bomaid.co.bw/ and follow them on Facebook