September and October are considered the months where people get their “annual” flu shot. As we’re approaching flu season, some of you might also be eligible for the COVID-19 booster shot as well. So, when should you get your flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine? Do you need to space them apart?
The CDC states that you can get both your booster shot (or your 1st time shot) and a flu vaccine at the same time. And, in case you are wondering, a flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19 and a COVID-19 vaccine will not protect you from the flu. But, if you get both, you will be protected against both.
AFC Urgent Care New Bedford is aware of the potential “twindemic” and is ready to help our friends and families in the New Bedford community get their flu shots this flu season. We also offer the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for those of you who have not gotten vaccinated yet.
Now let’s take a look at what’s new with the flu vaccine this 2021/2022 flu season.
AFC Urgent Care New Bedford offers the Quadrivalent Flu shot
Flu shots are made months in advance to combat strains of influenza that may appear this flu season. All of our AFC Urgent Care locations in Massachusetts are offering the latest Quadrivalent flu shot.
This year there are a few updates to the Flu vaccines for the 2021/2022 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 offers flu shots for Seniors
There are two new vaccines licensed for use during the 2021-2022 flu season. To better protect there is now a quadrivalent high-dose vaccine that replaces the former trivalent dose. There’s also another quadrivalent adjuvanted vaccine for seniors (above the age of 65) that has an additional influenza B component.
Who else should get a flu shot this year?
Anyone above the age of 6 months should get vaccinated for the flu. If you are over the age of 65, pregnant, have health conditions like diabetes, immuno-suppressed health related conditions, heart disease or any other COVID-19 related risks, then you should get it soon! This category of people are considered high risk for both the flu and COVID-19. Now is not the time to be carefree or irresponsible. There are still people traveling and the younger age groups, especially those too young for the COVID-19 vaccine, may pose a risk for spreading both the flu and COVID-19 to high risk individuals.
I didn’t get the flu last year, why do I need to get a flu shot this year?
It’s not only about you.
Since COVID-19 is still here, and there is inconsistent behavior on practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and the new variants circulating across the nation, it makes it hard to predict anything about the upcoming flu season.
You definitely don’t want to get both, especially if you are immunocompromised. For those of you who are young and healthy, your flu shot counts too, if not more because you are seeing friends and family and going to populated public places and events which may be a breeding ground for both viruses.
Why do I need both a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu shot?
Like we mentioned earlier, a flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19. Vice versa, a COVID-19 vaccine will not protect you from the flu. These are two entirely separate vaccines that are designed to protect against two different viruses.
If you haven’t gotten your COVID-19 vaccine yet, The CDC announced that you can get the flu vaccine and COVID-19 at the same time. The same rule goes for anyone needing a booster shot for COVID-19. You can get both. Ultimately, you’ll be able to protect yourself and others from both the flu and COVID-19 this flu season.
Is it possible to catch COVID-19 and the flu at the same time?
We really hope that you don’t get to this point. The best safeguard to avoid this twindemic is to get vaccinated for both COVID-19 and the flu. During this period of vaccination, we highly suggest limiting exposure to others so that you can build up immunity from both vaccines. It takes a full 14 days to take effect.
If for some reason you manage to contract both, it is much more difficult to diagnose and treat. You can always get tested for COVID-19 at AFC Urgent Care New Bedford with no appointment needed. We can also evaluate you for the flu!
AFC Urgent Care New Bedford is now offering the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine. Today and every day throughout the fall!
AFC Urgent Care New Bedford cannot stress it enough. Everyone who is able should get vaccinated for both the flu and COVID-19. You can walk in for a flu shot or fortany of our urgent care services with no appointment needed.
Our staff is fully equipped with PPE gear and we make sure our facility is clean and sanitized for you. AFC in New Bedford also offers COVID-19 testing 7 days a week with results on the same day with our Rapid COVID-19 testing services. We’re open 7 days a week from 8am-8pm weekdays and 8am-5pm Saturdays and Sundays.