COVID-19 is still around and we’re now approaching flu season. “Do I need to get a flu shot?” or “Do I have to get a flu shot and COVID-19 vaccinated?” are common questions people have since both viruses can knock you off your feet.
Some of you may be now eligible for your booster shot for COVID-19. Others might be getting their COVID-19 vaccine for the first time. The point is, you want to get vaccinated for both the flu and COVID-19 to avoid getting sick this fall and winter.
Lucky for you, AFC Urgent Care Worcester now offers the quadrivalent flu shot and the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine (. Here’s what you should know so you can avoid the “twindemic” this season.
Here is what’s new for the 2021 flu vaccines
The CDC has information and updates for the flu vaccine in 2021 that you should know:
- 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
There are also two new vaccines licensed for use during the 2021-2022 flu season. To better prepare the eldery there is now a quadrivalent high-dose vaccine that replaces the former trivalent dose. The second one is a quadrivalent adjuvanted vaccine for the elderly that has an additional influenza B component.
I heard that you can get the flu from the flu shot. Is that true?
Myth buster! You can not contract the flu from a flu shot. The virus in your shot has been weakened to the point that it will not actually make you sick, but will encourage your body to start creating antibodies to fight a possible flu.
Fun Flu Fact!: Another great side effect of getting the flu shot is that it not only protects you against the flu, but effectively boosts your immune system. By getting the vaccine you are decreasing your chance of getting sick in any form this season.
Will a flu shot protect me from COVID-19?
No. You may have seen this question circulating across the internet, but to be clear, a flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19. Getting vaccinated for the flu means you’re protected against this year’s flu strains.
This is why you need both a flu shot for the flu season and to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to protect against that as well. If you haven’t gotten vaccinated for COVID-19 yet, the CDC states that you can get both at the same time.
What happens If I catch COVID-19 and the Flu?
Research has shown in the past 18 months that it is possible to get more than one respiratory infection while having COVID-19. We hope that it doesn’t come to this and that is why we highly suggest you get vaccinated for the flu. This way, we can at least rule out the flu when trying to diagnose COVID-19. If you get both it will be hard to diagnose and treat.
If you need help with distinguishing between the two, we can also help test you for COVID-19 at our center. We offer both standard PCR tests and RAPID COVID-19 tests for people in Worcester MA.
Flu shots and COVID-19 vaccine offered at AFC Urgent Care Worcester
Expect…and AVOID a possible twindemic this flu season. If you or a loved one is worried about the flu you can come to our AFC urgent care center, no appointment necessary. We accept most insurances.
Click here to learn more about the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine offered at AFC in Worcester, MA.
***Our COVID-19 testing services are on a walk-in basis and our RAPID COVID-19 testing service can give you results in 30 minutes. Due to the increase in testing because of the Delta variant, wait times and results may take longer.