Why It's Even More Important to Get Your Flu Shot This Year

Why It’s Even More Important to Get Your Flu Shot This Year


Image for article titled Why It's Even More Important to Get Your Flu Shot This Year

Photo: FotoDuets (Shutterstock)

Last year’s flu season occurred in the midst of a COVID-19 surge, sparking concerns of a “twindemic,” in which the coronavirus and the flu would be circulating simultaneously. Healthcare resources would be stretched even thinner, and some people might contract both illnesses at the same time.

That didn’t happen last year, but it’s a real possibility this year. Remember that last flu season, most of us were still masking up when we went out in public because the vaccine wasn’t yet widely available. The 2020-2021 flu season was an astounding flop—in a good way. Positive flu tests were rare, just 0.2%, compared to typical rates of around 30%. There was only one death of a child from the flu, compared to 37 to 199 in past years.

But this year, COVID vaccines have allowed us to return to something closer to normal, even though the pandemic is definitely not over yet. The CDC even warns that with lowered population immunity due to the lack of infections last year, we could be in for “an early and possibly severe flu season.”

So consider this your reminder that if you’re going out without a mask, and not washing your hands religiously anymore, you’re still at risk of catching and spreading the flu. So don’t forget to get your flu shot.

What should I know about this year’s flu shot?

As always, the flu shot is free with insurance (the law requires it to be fully covered, even if you haven’t met your deductible) and the shot is recommended for everyone except babies who are under 6 months old. If you have a baby at home, protect them by making sure that you and the baby’s other caregivers are vaccinated.

All of the flu vaccines will protect against four different strains of influenza, including two A and two B types. (In past years, some shots only had three.) There is still a high-dose option and an adjuvanted option, both intended for people 65 and older whose immune systems may not respond as well to the regular shot. That said, if you can’t get a high-dose shot, the regular one is still considered to be good enough.

Importantly, you can get a flu vaccine at the same time as a dose of COVID vaccine, if you still need to get that. When the COVID vaccines were first introduced, the CDC recommended putting a two-week waiting period before or after any other vaccine dose. That rule is gone now; the CDC says you can get your flu and COVID shots on the same day, if you want.



Source

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top