Experts say October is the best time to get your COVID boosters and flu shots

With medical doctors’ workplaces and pharmacies now providing seasonal flu shots and up to date COVID-19 boosters, specialists are urging Americans to get each, with many saying October is the best time.

While specialists say October could also be a super window to increase immunity, they stress the significance of getting vaccinated. For added comfort, it is secure for folks to get each shots throughout the similar journey, specialists say.

White House COVID Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha advised ABC News that the best time to get the new up to date COVID-19 booster is “no later than the finish of October for max safety,” which is per suggestions for the timing of the flu shot.

October is additionally the “Goldilocks second” for flu shots, mentioned Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious illness specialist at the University of California, San Francisco. However, anybody who will get the shot in September ought to count on to be protected throughout the flu season, which often lasts till spring.

“I feel my common recommendation is to take it [when] it is handy,” mentioned Chin-Hong.

Experts additionally say not to fear if you cannot get your flu shot earlier than Halloween.

“If for some purpose you may’t get your flu shot by the finish of October, it isn’t too late,” mentioned Dr. Alok Patel, a pediatrician at Stanford Child Health and a medical contributor for ABC News.

Bad flu season on the horizon?

Some specialists predict that the seasonal flu virus — after two years of delicate exercise throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — might be again in full pressure this season.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a typical 12 months earlier than a pandemic, about 8% of the U.S. inhabitants will get the flu. The variety of deaths will exceed 50,000, the similar as in 2017-2018.

Gustavo Perez receives a flu shot from pharmacist Patricia Pernal throughout an occasion hosted by the Chicago Department of Public Health at the Southwest Senior Center. 9, 2022, in Chicago.

Scott Olson/GettyImages

The aged and folks with weakened immune methods are extra probably to get sick from the flu.

“Of course, we’re involved about folks over 65 years previous. They are about 15-17% of the inhabitants, however make up 80% of the inhabitants. [flu] deaths and hospitalizations, mentioned Dr. William Schaffner, professor of infectious ailments at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

But younger or in any other case wholesome folks can even profit from the flu shot, which reduces the threat of spreading the virus to others.

“Low threat doesn’t suggest no threat. By getting vaccinated, you scale back your probabilities of changing into a harmful provider,” Schaffner mentioned.

Meanwhile, getting sick with the flu does not simply put a damper on trip plans, it usually leads to undesirable signs that final for days.

“It’s not a stroll in the park for somebody with the flu,” Chin-Hong mentioned.

Getting vaccinated in October or early November is best as a result of “[you want] Your annual vaccinations will final all through the winter, from February to March and even April,” Schaffner mentioned.

“The solely change in timing could be for people who find themselves pregnant,” Chin-Hong mentioned. She defined that pregnant ladies might want to get a flu shot earlier than giving start, which permits the new child to profit from the mom’s antibodies, particularly since infants underneath 6 months cannot be vaccinated.

Flu shots could also be particularly vital for youngsters this 12 months, specialists say, due to how the easing of restrictions throughout the pandemic may have an effect on youngsters.

“Given that faculties have reopened, the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and youngsters are panicking as common. [they] There is a threat of getting the flu this 12 months,” Patel mentioned. “Parents shouldn’t generalize the flu as simply the widespread chilly. Thousands of youngsters are hospitalized for the flu annually, and younger infants and youngsters with underlying medical situations are at the highest threat.

Updated COVID-19 boosters might also be learn yearly

The Food and Drug Administration not too long ago authorised an up to date COVID-19 booster shot — the first main replace to COVID-19 vaccines. As safety in opposition to COVID-19 step by step fades over time, the White House has beforehand mentioned that vaccines in opposition to COVID-19 may turn into a actuality yearly, very like the seasonal flu.

The new COVID-19 boosters are designed to higher match the COVID-19 variants at present in circulation and are at present authorised for anybody 12 and older who obtained their final COVID-19 shot at the least two months in the past. According to the CDC, individuals who have beforehand had COVID can wait one other 90 days. Approval of the up to date amplifiers for youthful youngsters is anticipated “inside a couple of weeks,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the group inside the FDA answerable for making certain the security and efficacy of vaccines.

Although it is not identified whether or not one other COVID-19 will seem this fall, greater than 350 folks nonetheless die from COVID-19 day-after-day. According to the CDC, in contrast to youthful folks, folks over the age of 65 are 60 occasions extra probably to die from COVID-19. For these over 85, the loss of life charge is 340 occasions greater.

Is it secure to get the flu vaccine at the similar time?

Experts say that getting a flu shot and a flu shot at the similar time will not weaken your physique’s immunity to both virus.

“If you give the physique two alerts, it won’t lower [immunity] as a result of it is concentrating on one other sign,” mentioned Chin-Hong.

Although youngsters underneath 12 can not obtain the new booster vaccines, most are receiving the main COVID-19 vaccines authorised for youngsters 6 months of age and older.

Similar to the tips for adults, pediatricians say it is secure to give younger youngsters each the COVID-19 and flu shots underneath the similar physician’s care.

“This could be a extra handy possibility for busy mother and father,” Patel added.

Youri Benadjaoud is an MPH candidate at Brown University and a member of the ABC News medical division.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.