With doctors’ offices and pharmacies offering up-to-date flu shots and up-to-date Covid-19 boosters, experts are urging Americans to get both, with many saying October is the best time.
While experts say October can be a good window to boost immunity, they also stress the importance of getting vaccinated whenever you can. For added convenience, it’s okay for people to get both shots during the same visit, experts say.
The White House’s covid coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha, told ABC News that the best time to get the updated Covid-19 booster is “no later than the end of October for maximum protection,” which is consistent with flu vaccination recommendations.
Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco, said the “Goldilocks moment” for the flu vaccine is also in October. However, anyone who gets the vaccine in September should still be protected during flu season, which typically lasts until spring.
“I think my general advice is, get it. [when] It’s convenient,” Chin-hong said.
If you can’t get your flu shot before Halloween, don’t worry, experts say.
“If for whatever reason you can’t get a flu shot by the end of October, it’s not too late,” said Dr. Alok Patel, a pediatrician at Stanford Children’s Health and a medical contributor to ABC News.
Bad flu season on the horizon?
Some experts predict that the current flu virus — following two years of mild activity during the Covid-19 pandemic — will make a full comeback this season.
A typical pre-pandemic year sees 8 percent of the US population get sick with the flu Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Deaths may exceed 50,000 as they have done in recent times. 2017-2018 season.
The elderly and immunocompromised are at risk of serious illness from influenza.
Our concern is of course people over 65 years of age. They make up 15-17 percent of the population but account for 80 percent. [flu] Dr. William Schaffner, professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said.
But young, otherwise healthy people benefit from the flu shot, which reduces the chance of spreading the virus to others.
“Low risk doesn’t mean there’s no risk. With a vaccine, you actually reduce the chance of getting the dreaded transmission,” Schaffner said.
Meanwhile, getting sick with the flu doesn’t just affect holiday plans, it often causes unwanted symptoms that last for several days.
“It’s definitely not a walk in the park for anyone with the flu,” says Chin-Hong.
It is best to vaccinate in October or early November because “[you want] “Your annual vaccination extends throughout the winter, from February through March and into April,” Schaffner said.
“The only change with time may be for pregnant women,” Chin-Hong said. He explained that pregnant mothers may want to get a flu shot before giving birth, which allows newborns to benefit from the mother’s antibodies, especially for babies under 6 months old.
Flu shots may be especially important for children this year, experts say, as pandemic-era restrictions raise concerns about how much fun can affect children.
Given that schools have reopened, Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted and children have returned to their normal selves. [they] “Parents should not dismiss influenza as the common cold. Thousands of children are hospitalized each year because of the flu, and young infants and children with chronic medical conditions are at greatest risk,” Patel said.
Updated covid-19 boosters could be annual vaccines.
The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first updated version of the Covid-19 booster vaccine — the first large-scale vaccine against Covid-19. As expected protection from Covid-19 gradually wears off over time, the White House has previously stated that strain-specific Covid vaccines, like seasonal flu shots, could become an annual reality.
The new covid-19 incentives are designed to better match the current covid-19 variants and are currently approved for people 12 and older who had their last covid-19 shot at least two months ago. People who have previously had Covid may consider waiting 90 days before receiving a booster shot. According to the CDC. Dr. Peter Marks, director of the group at the FDA responsible for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, said approval of the updated boosters for young children is expected “within weeks.”
Although it is unclear whether there will be another outbreak of Covid-19 this fall, more than 350 people still die from Covid-19 every day. Compared to younger adults, those over 65 are 60 times more likely to die from Covid-19. According to the CDC. For those over 85, the death rate is 340 times higher.
Is it safe to get a covid booster and flu shot at the same time?
Getting both a covid booster and flu shot at the same time won’t weaken your body’s ability to fight the virus, experts say.
“If you give the body two signals, it will not be less [immunity] Because it’s focused on another brand,” Chin-Hong said.
Although children under 12 are not eligible for the new booster shots, many are still receiving the original COVID-19 vaccine, which is for children 6 months of age and older.
Similar to the guidelines for adults, pediatricians say it’s safe to give toddlers the Covid-19 vaccine and the flu shot at the same doctor’s visit.
“This could be a more convenient option for busy parents,” Patel added.
Youri Benadjaoud is an MPH candidate at Brown University and a member of the ABC News Medical Department.