This year’s flu season is predicted to be longer and more severe than we have seen in recent years. With COVID-19 infections continuing to spread, it is important as ever to protect ourselves and our loved ones against both the flu and COVID-19.
People ages 5 and older can get the new, COVID-19 booster at least two months after their second primary series dose, or last booster. Sunita Singh, MD and John Kaufmann, MD, infectious disease specialists with Dignity Health Medical Group — Dominican, share what’s different about these boosters and why they’re important in the video below.
Updated COVID-19 boosters help restore protection that has decreased since previous vaccination, and provide broader protection against newer variants. These new vaccines target Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, and the original strain of the COVID-19 virus, in a single shot.
It is recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine.
Historically in the U.S, flu-related infections have had significant consequences. During the 2019-2020 flu season, there were 7.5 million flu illnesses, 105,000 hospitalizations, and 6,300 deaths. You can protect against the flu by taking the first and most important step: getting the flu vaccine. Getting a flu vaccine is also a simple act of kindness because it protects the people around you who may be more vulnerable to complications from the flu.
While the flu vaccine benefits everyone, it’s essential for parents of young children, pregnant women, adults ages 50 and older, and patients with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and asthma. Patients with chronic conditions are also at a higher risk of flu-related complications like pneumonia.
The flu is contagious before symptoms start. These everyday prevention tips, in addition to getting your flu shot, can help you avoid spreading the virus.
You can safely get your flu shot and COVID-19 booster at the same time. Call your Dignity Health Medical Group doctor’s office to schedule an appointment.