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A child with their sleve rolled up ready for their vaccine.

Roll Up Your Sleeves: Stay Up to Date on Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines

September 20, 2023 Posted in: Blogs , Screenings and Immunizations

 

Fall has arrived, and along with pumpkin spice lattes, it’s also time for vaccinations. With so much focus on vaccines since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be growing weary of rolling up your sleeves to get shots. But getting seasonal vaccines, along with any others you might need, is still just as important as ever.

Many people are understandably experiencing vaccine fatigue. After years of getting COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, many people may feel it is no longer essential to continue getting boosters, and people might also neglect to get other needed vaccines. But to continue to protect yourself and your family, it is still important to stay vaccinated against both COVID-19 and the flu.

The 411 on the Flu Shot

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults and children six months of age and older receive a flu vaccination every year. The ideal time to get it is during September or October, but it is still beneficial to get it later in the season if you haven’t yet. Even if you’re in good health, getting the flu shot can help keep those around you safe.

The best time to get the flu shot is in the early fall, before the virus starts widely circulating. However, getting it late is also beneficial.

Several different types of flu vaccines are available. For people younger than 65, any of the vaccines are appropriate. For those 65 and older, the CDC recommends three types of vaccines. However, if those are not on hand at the time, other vaccines are safe. 

If you are not a fan of shots, a nasal spray flu vaccine is also available for people ages 2 to 49. However, pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray.

The Latest on COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters

When vaccines for COVID-19 first became available, many people rushed to get them and continued to stay vigilant, getting updated vaccines and boosters when they became available. As hospitalizations and deaths fell due to vaccines or previous infection, the urgency surrounding vaccinations dropped. However, it’s still important to ensure you and your family are up to date on COVID-19 immunizations.

The earlier vaccines, which were designed to protect against the original strain of the virus that causes COVID-19, are no longer effective. This is because the virus is always changing, and new variants are now dominant.

Newly updated vaccines to protect against the latest variant of COVID-19 have now arrived. As of the middle of September, the CDC recommends that everyone who is 5 years of age and older receive one dose of the updated, monovalent vaccine. Additionally, people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may receive additional doses of an updated vaccine.

Talk to your health care provider and watch for new CDC guidelines about who should get the newest vaccine. 

Questions about vaccinations for you or your family? Schedule an appointment with a provider at St. Luke’s Health. 

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