Avoid The Flu, COVID And Monkeypox: Don’t Skip Out On Your Vaccines!

October 12, 2022

AFC Provider Administering Flu Shot On Older Man At AFC Urgent Care Saugus

COVID-19 and the flu was an issue last year because symptoms overlapped and it was confusing to tell what illness you had. But, the problem we faced last year was a lack of vaccinations for both COVID and the flu causing us to cancel our favorite holiday seasons. Let’s not make the same mistake this year. Get vaccinated for both!

Why? Schools are now in session and kids are the most common germ spreaders. People are also still traveling and mask mandates have been lifted in most places in the recent months. AFC Urgent Care Saugus is aware of the possible flu and COVID-19 combo, but is now more alert because we also have to worry about Monkeypox posing a threat to our friends and families as well. 

Here’s what you should know about all three viruses.

Updates To The New 2022 Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine

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 2022/2023 flu season:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. The B/Yamagata lineage vaccine component was not updated.

Why Should I Get Vaccinated For Both The Flu And COVID-19 When I Didn’t Get Sick Last Year.

Maybe you avoided Omicron and the flu last year. But that doesn’t mean it won’t get you this year. 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 and the most recent booster shot for COVID will protect you from the current strain and all of the previous strains. 

Flu season is approaching, so you want to get vaccinated for the flu starting late September into October. At the same time, the booster shot for COVID-19 is out and it would be a good time to get it before the winter holidays. If you remember last year, most of us had to cancel our favorite holidays because some of you skipped out on your flu and COVID-19 shots.

Monkeypox Is Also A Threat This 2022 Winter Season

As you’ve probably heard, there has been an outbreak of Monkeypox in the U.S. and around the world in recent months, according to the CDC. It has been reported in several states recently. Although Monkeypox (MPV) is found in many countries across Africa, the recent spike in infections has raised concerns for the well-being of our friends and families here in West Saugus and the surrounding MA area’s.

Symptoms of Monkeypox to watch out for are:

  • Rash or Lesions (the most obvious symptom that appears after 1-3 days)
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Backaches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion

It’s best to practice the same safety precautions as we do for COVID and flu, now for Monkeypox as well. This includes, self isolating if you do have monkeypox, washing your hands frequently throughout the day, and to mask up (we encourage it this winter to avoid all 3 viruses). 

You can also stay informed by checking in with The CDC guidelines, vaccine information, number of cases and where it’s spreading.

For information on the latest COVID booster and the Monkey Pox vaccine centers, please visit your local pharmacy or check the Massachusetts DPH website for a link to available locations.

Get Your Flu Shot Now!

Walk-in or make an appointment now for your flu vaccine. Now is not the time to blow it off or wait until the holiday season. You want at least 14 days to build immunity for the flu vaccine so you’re fully flu protected.

AFC Urgent Care Saugus also offers convenient COVID-19 testing services 7 days a week. You can get your results on the same day to give you peace of mind this flu/winter season.

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