Experts advocate protecting your hog operation by getting a flu shot

Most of us have COVID-19 on the mind, but agriculture advocates say you need to be thinking about the flu too, especially if you are a pork producer.

Producer advocates say now, more than ever, is the season to get your flu shot. Dr. Heather Fowler, the director of public health for the National Pork Board, states, “If anything, actually, we’re encouraging folks, given that COVID-19 also causes respiratory disease, affects the lungs and airways, that we want to make sure that we’re not complicating things.”

Dr. Fowler says that it is important to think beyond people this time of year, when protecting others from the flu.

“There’s also the potential of spreading it to pigs that we work with, so we want to make sure that our producers are following those pillars, those good production practices that are solidified and reinforced in the Pork Quality Assurance Plus Program, of the PQA Plus Program,” she said. “This is all to prevent the animals from getting influenza, but knowing that there is a potential risk for employees there as well.”

Dr. Fowler says that any steps you can take around biosecurity are good too, like vaccinating your pigs.

“We want to make sure we remain committed to doing what’s right for people, pigs, and planet, and that means getting our flu shot this flu season,” she said.

U.S. pork industry launches project to identify biosecurity gaps.