Flu, COVID-19, and now Monkeypox?

October 12, 2022

Older Gentleman Getting His Updated Flu Shot At AFC Urgent Care Springfield

September and October are considered, to most people, as annual flu shot months. For some, it’s also time for their COVID-19 booster shot. For those eligible,  the CDC states that one can get both their booster shot (or 1st time shot) and a flu vaccine at the same time. Now is the time to start getting these vaccines as it can take 14 days for the vaccines to build immunity. 

At the same time, we don’t want to repeat last year’s mistake of skipping out on vaccines because we all know how that turned out…our favorite holidays got canceled because we all got sick. This year, we also have another virus called Monkeypox to worry about. All 3 are contagious and as it gets colder and we’re confined to small spaces, the likelihood of either virus spreading increases.

AFC Urgent Care Springfield is ready to help our friends and families in the Springfield community get vaccinated and avoid getting sick!  

AFC Urgent Care Springfield offers the Quadrivalent Flu shot

Flu shots are prepared months in advance to tackle down strains of influenza that may appear this flu season. THe Quadrivalent flu shot is available in all of the AFC Urgent Care locations in Massachusetts.

This year there are a few updates to the Flu vaccines for the 2022/2023 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.
  • For the 2022-2023 flu season, there are three flu vaccines that are preferentially recommended for people 65 years and older. These are Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent recombinant flu vaccine and Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted flu vaccine.

Can The Flu Shot Protect Me Against COVID-19?

We said it last year and we’ll say it again…The flu shot does not protect from COVID-19. Vice versa, a COVID-19 vaccine will not protect one from the flu. These vaccines protect against two entirely different viruses. 

If you haven’t received the  COVID-19 vaccine yet, The CDC has  announced that you can receive  the flu vaccine and COVID-19 at the same time. The current COVID booster shot offers immunity for current COVID-19 variants and the previous ones. 

Again, don’t make the same mistake last year by skipping out on both shots. Now is the time to protect yourself and others from both the flu and COVID-19. 

Should I Worry About the Monkeypox Virus During The Flu Season?

In recent months, The CDC has reported an outbreak of Monkeypox in several US states and multiple countries around the world. The disease is caused by a virus of the orthopoxvirus group, which includes smallpox. While very common in places like Africa, it has spread to the United States in recent months, raising alarm bells  for the health and safety of our families and friends in the Springfield community. 

Monkeypox is not a virus to ignore or stereotype. It doesn't matter what is your sexual orientation or your country of origin. Monkeypox can be transmitted in many ways, but direct contact is the most common way of transmission. Other methods include splashing, sharing objects and clothing, hugging, kissing, and even sex.


Most Common Symptoms of Monkeypox

Monkeypox symptoms are similar to those of the flu, but the most common symptoms of Monkeypox are:

  • Rash or Lesions (usually appears after 1 to 3 days)
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Back pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion

You can follow the numbers and information on Monkeypox here (The CDC dataset).

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 today! 

AFC Urgent Care Springfield cares about their community and wants to make sure you are protected from COVID-19, the flu, and Monkeypox. We encourage you to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu. 

AFC in Springfield is conducting COVID-19 testing 7 days a week with same day results  with our Rapid COVID-19 testing services. Walk-in or make an appointment online today!

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