Why Getting the Flu Shot This Year Is Even More Important

Last year’s flu season came at the height of the outbreak of COVID-19, prompting fears of a “tweendemia” in which the coronavirus and the flu would circulate at the same time. Health resources will be depleted even less, and some people may develop both diseases at the same time.

This did not happen last year, but this year it is quite possible. Remember, in the last flu season, most of us were still disguised when we went public because the vaccine was not widely available yet. The 2020-21 flu season was a stunning flop – in a good way. Positive influenza tests were rare, at just 0.2%, compared with the usual rate of around 30%. Only one child died of the flu, compared with 37 versus 199 in previous years.

But this year, COVID vaccines have allowed us to return to something closer to normal, although the pandemic is definitely not over yet. The CDC even warns that due to the declining immunity of the population due to the lack of infections in the past year, we can expect an “early and possibly severe flu season.”

So consider this as your reminder that if you go outside without a mask and no longer wash your hands religiously, you still run the risk of contracting and spreading the flu. So be sure to get your flu shot.

What should I know about the flu shot this year?

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 flu shot is recommended for everyone except children under 6 months of age. If you have a child in your home, protect it by making sure you and the other caregivers of the child are vaccinated.

All influenza vaccines protect against four different strains of influenza , including two type A and two type B. (In past years, some vaccines only had three shots.) There is still a high dose option and an adjuvant option, both for humans 65 and older, whose immune system may not respond as well to regular vaccinations. However, if you cannot get the high dose vaccine, the regular vaccine is still good enough.

It’s important to note that you can get the flu shot at the same time as your COVID dose if you still need to do so. When COVID vaccines were first introduced, the CDC recommended a two-week waiting period before or after any other dose of vaccine. Now this rule is gone; The CDC says you can get flu and COVID shots on the same day if you want .

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