With COVID-19 still circulating across the nation, we’re now heading into Flu season. Don’t overlook the importance of the Flu vaccine. Both COVID-19 and the Flu can knock you off your feet.
If you’re concerned about when to get vaccinated for the flu or COVID-19, The CDC recently announced that you can get both vaccines at the SAME time. As some of you may have already gotten vaccinated for COVID-19, this will not help you against the flu. Flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines are not designed to protect you from everything (hence the names). They’re very specific, but they’re the best safeguard when protecting against COVID-19 and the Flu if you get both.
Lucky for you, AFC Urgent Care West Springfield is now offering the quadrivalent flu vaccine and the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines and we will continue to update everyone on flu vaccines, and COVID-19 so that you can prepare- AND AVOID!- the 2021/2022 flu and COVID-19 twindemic combo.
Why is it important to get the flu vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic
We’re still living in COVID-19, unfortunately. It has not gone away and new variants are among us. Schools have just begun and while some have delays, this is the perfect opportunity to get the flu vaccine because kids are the most common spreaders of the flu as well as COVID-19.
In addition to this, some of us are still traveling so there is a risk of transmission for COVID-19 and it’s other variants. Specifically, the Delta variant is here in Massachusetts and continues to circulate across the nation. It is a highly contagious strain. So, it’s important to double down on your vaccinations to avoid getting either the flu, COVID-19 or both at the same time.
Now, let’s take a look at what’s new with the Flu vaccines in 2021.
What’s new about the 2021 flu vaccines and when should I get mine?
Flu vaccines are made months in advance to combat possible strains during the flu season. As scientists and researchers planned ahead they made some new updates to the flu vaccines to better prepare for the flu season this year. Here is the updated list from the CDC:
- 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 West Springfield offers the quadrivalent flu vaccine. We suggest that anyone over the age of 6 months get it this year. The CDC also mentions that you should get vaccinated in September or October, before the start of the Flu season.
New flu vaccine for Seniors
There are also two new vaccines licensed for adults over the age of 65. To better prepare the eldery there is now a quadrivalent high-dose vaccine that replaces the former trivalent dose. There’s also another quadrivalent adjuvanted vaccine for the elderly that has an additional influenza B component.
Remember: When you get the flu vaccine, you are not only protecting yourself against illness, but you are protecting everyone around you. Infants younger than 6 months don’t have the immune systems strong enough to get vaccinated or to fight off the flu. Make sure that everyone in your family gets a flu shot so that you can protect your newborns. The same thing also applies to the elderly and the immunocompromised. Get vaccinated to help protect your grandparents!
Will the COVID-19 vaccine help protect me from the flu?
Again, both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines are designed for two very specific things:
- Protect against COVID-19 (COVID-19 vaccine)
- Protect against the Flu (The Flu vaccine)
So no. Getting one over the other is not going to protect you fully. Getting both will be the best safeguard to eliminate the possibility of contracting both viruses, and spreading them to others or family relatives. We mentioned earlier that The CDC stated that you can get both vaccines at the same time.
So, if you’re getting a COVID-19 vaccine for the first time, you can get your flu vaccine at the same time. If you’re eligible for your booster shot for COVID-19, you can also get the flu vaccine too. It’s that simple.
AFC Urgent Care West Springfield offers the quadrivalent flu vaccine and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine
AFC Urgent Care West Springfield is now offering the quadrivalent flu shot 7 days a week to help avoid the possible “twindemic”. You can also come to any of our centers anytime. We recommend anyone ages 6 months and up (including seniors/the elderly) to get vaccinated for the flu.
There is no appointment necessary, and we accept most insurances. We also offer COVID-19 testing to help rule out COVID during the winter flu season and we are also offering the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.