“Should I get the flu shot OR get the COVID-19 vaccine?” This shouldn’t be a question. Both vaccines protect against two entirely different viruses. Getting a flu vaccine will not protect you from COVID-19 and getting a COVID-19 vaccine will not protect you from any of the flu strains this winter. Hopefully in the future one will emerge, but for the time being, we need both vaccines.
HOWEVER, if you get both a COVID-19 vaccine and the Flu vaccine, not only will you be protecting yourself from both viruses, but you will also help protect others who are elderly or immunocompromised.
Flu season is approaching and many of us are wondering what to expect, since COVID-19 is still around. In response to this, we have new updates to the flu vaccines to better prepare high risk individuals from getting the flu. AFC Urgent Care Dedham now offers the quadrivalent flu vaccine and the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Here’s what you should know so you can avoid the twindemic.
What are the new updates for the flu vaccine in 2021?
First, let’s get an old myth out of the way. Receiving a flu shot will not give you the flu. The virus in your shot is not live, and has been weakened to the point that it will not actually get you sick, but will encourage your body to start creating antibodies to fight a possible flu. That being said, let’s talk about which one will be right for you.
There are many different types of flu vaccines, and the determining factors for which one you should get mostly come down to your age, and current state of health. Regardless, the flu shot is either going to be trivalent, meaning it protects against three strains of the virus, or quadrivalent, meaning it protects against four. AFC Urgent Care Dedham offers the quadrivalent flu vaccine. There have been updates to the vaccines to better combat possible strains in the 2021/2022 flu season. Here an updated list from The CDC about the new components in the vaccines:
- 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.
It is important to remember that infants under 6 months should NOT receive a flu shot because their immune systems aren’t strong enough to handle the vaccine.
Infants are also at a high risk of flu complications if parents don’t get their flu shots. Remember, you can reduce the chances of your newborn getting the flu if you get the flu shot before the season begins. and if you have any questions or concerns about which vaccine is best for you and your loved ones, contact us. We’re here to help make it easy for you.
Who should get the flu vaccine this year?
The CDC suggests that everyone above the age of 6 months get vaccinated for the flu, including pregnant women, the elderly and high risk individuals. But what about newborns? Newborns under the 6 month threshold don’t have fully developed immune systems yet, so giving a flu vaccine to them would do more harm than good. However, a mother during pregnancy can receive a flu vaccine and pass on the immunity to their baby.
Fun fact: When you get a flu shot during pregnancy, your baby will also develop antibodies that will protect it for the first 6-months of it’s life!
It’s important to remember that when you are pregnant, your immune system is not at its strongest, making it far more likely that you will get sick. When you get sick, you are not only dealing with the flu yourself, but you are also putting your pregnancy at greater risk.
What happens if I get both COVID-19 and the flu this season?
Symptoms often overlap. The only difference is that you don’t lose your sense of smell and taste if you have the flu. It might be hard to breathe through your nose if you have the flu, but if you can taste the flavor from chicken soup, then it’s just the flu.
The real threat here is if you get both COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. Ideally, we highly suggest you get vaccinated for both so you can avoid this, but if you’re unsure if you have COVID-19 or the flu you can come get tested at our center for COVID-19 any day of the week.
If you don’t have COVID-19, then chances are it’s just the flu. Again, you can avoid both by getting vaccinated for both viruses. We offer the flu vaccine and Johnson and Johnson vaccine at our AFC location in Dedham
Don’t wait. Come get your flu shot and the COVID-19 Johnson and Johnson vaccines today!
The CDC recommends that everyone get their flu shots in September, or October before the start of the flu season. AFC Urgent Care Dedham is aware of the possible twindemic and offers the quadrivalent vaccine 7 days a week with no appointment necessary.
We also offer the Johnson and Johnson vaccine! Learn more about it here.
You can walk into our AFC location in Dedham, MA any day of the week. We accept most insurances and we also offer COVID-19 testing 7 days a week with results on the same day with our RAPID COVID-19 testing service.