When the seasons change in the US and fall arrives, people make plans to get flu shots. But this year, there are many places with the flu vaccine in stock now, ready to be offered to the public. Why? Well, as the US heads into flu season this year, things are more complicated than in the recent past due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that continues to be a threat to public health.
Public health authorities are speaking up, to emphasize the importance of getting the flu shot this year in light of the ongoing COVID-19 threat. As influenza viruses circulate in the US this year, the concern will expand because the range of common signs and symptoms of the flu overlap with those of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, etc.). The coronavirus continues its spread across the US, resulting in serious illness for citizens everywhere; so reducing flu symptoms that could be confused with those of COVID-19 is key to treating the disease effectively. Further, the reduction in the severity of influenza illness as well as the reduction in hospitalizations for the flu is also an important consideration because it likely will mean a reduction in the strain on the healthcare system.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals get a vaccination against the flu at least by October, just before the flu season begins; but any time before the peak (which is usually in February) can help keep the flu at bay. The organization stresses that it is important to get the flu shot during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic not only to keep from confusing the symptoms but also to decrease the possibility of co-infection with both contagious respiratory illnesses. The CDC has stated that there are some exceptions to their recommendation, specifically noting that anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who is presumed positive should defer vaccination for the flu. (If you would like to read more about CDC recommendations, the organization has published a collection of federal resources that can be used for vaccination guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic on their official website.)
Flu Season and COVID-19. Quick Claimers Medical Billing is a professional medical coding and billing company based in El Paso, Texas that can assist you with your coding and billing needs. The coding and billing specialists at Quick Claimers are available to organize and process claims for the healthcare services provided by your practice, including immunizations, so that healthcare providers are paid in full for those services in an efficient manner. Contact Quick Claimers Medical Billing to discuss the services they can provide to streamline the medical coding and billing processes at your healthcare practice.