COVID-19 and the flu is one twindemic you want to avoid. This year the CDC is recommending that everyone over the age of 6 months should get a flu shot in September or October, before the flu season begins. As symptoms for both viruses often overlap, you don’t want to avoid a flu shot or the COVID-19 vaccine this year.
Why? Schools are now in session and kids are the most common germ spreaders, especially since as of this writing, they are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. People are also still traveling and new variants like the Delta COVID-19 variant are now in Massachusetts. AFC Urgent Care Saugus is aware of the possible flu and COVID-19 combo and is here to give you updated information on how to avoid the flu and stay safe from COVID-19.
The flu vaccine has some new updates in 2021
In response to COVID-19 still being around, The CDC and scientists have made sure to reinforce the strength of the vaccines so that people that are high risk or immunocompromised will have full flu protection. AFC urgent care Saugus offers the quadrivalent flu vaccine to cover 4 strains of the flu virus. For those interested, here is the list of new components in the quadrivalent flu vaccines for the 2021/2022 flu season:
- The egg-based H1N1 vaccine component was updated from an A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus to an A/Guangdong-Maonan/SWL1536/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus.
- The cell- or recombinant-based H1N1 vaccine component was updated from an A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus to an A/Hawaii/70/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus.
- The egg-based H3N2 vaccine component was updated from an A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus to an A/Hong Kong/2671/2019 (H3N2)-like virus.
- The cell- or recombinant-based H3N2 vaccine component was updated from an A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus to an A/Hong Kong/45/2019 (H3N2)-like virus.
- The B/Victoria lineage vaccine component was updated from a B/Colorado/06/2017 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus to a B/Washington/02/2019 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus.
- The B/Yamagata lineage vaccine component was not updated.
AFC Urgent Care Saugus also offers flu shots for seniors
In addition to the above, there are two new flu vaccines that are now available for adults over the age of 65. This is important because the eldery are considered high risk individuals and protecting them from at least the flu is better than no protection. Right now, the quadrivalent high-dose vaccine is available for this age group and replaces the former trivalent dose. There’s also another quadrivalent adjuvanted vaccine for the elderly that has an additional influenza B component.
Who is at risk for having complications from the flu?
- Pregnant Women
- People 65 years of age and older
- Kids 5 years of age and younger
- People who have Chronic Diseases, such as:
- Heart Disease
- Metabolic Diseases (Diabetes)
- Pulmonary Disease
- Liver Disease
- Sickle Cell Disease
- Immunosuppressed individuals
Will the flu vaccine protect me from COVID-19?
Resounding No. The Flu vaccine is designed to protect against this year’s strains of the flu. Vice versa, the COVID-19 vaccine is meant to protect against the COVID-19 virus. Just because you got the COVID-19 vaccine earlier this year, does not mean you can skip out on the flu vaccine.
Flu season is approaching, so you want to get vaccinated for the flu starting late September into October. In addition to this, some of you are eligible for your booster shot for the COVID-19 vaccine in October. And some of you may be getting your COVID-19 vaccine for the first time.