At this stage in the COVID-19 pandemic, everybody has experienced the panic and uncertainty that include having mild COVID-like symptomssuch as a cough and sore throatonly to check negative every single day. With cold and flu season coming, that state of frustrating uncertainty will probably strike many of us again.
Both COVID-19 and the flu are contagious respiratory illnesses which have comparable symptoms, rendering it difficult to tell apart between your two viral infections with out a lab test. Testing may be the only solution to know which virus is causing your symptoms. Actually, labs will work to generate one test that may detect both COVID-19 and the flu.
As a nursing professor with experience in public areas health promotion, I’m often asked concerning the differences between your flu and COVID-19. This season I’m fielding many questions concerning the timing to getting the brand new COVID-19 booster and the flu shot and if they could be given together.
Parsing the outward symptoms
Outward indications of both COVID-19 and the flu can range between mildor no noticeable symptoms at allto severe. While flu infection will not typically affect one’s capability to taste or smell, lack of taste or smell is a common symptom connected with COVID-19 infection. Both infections could cause fevers, chills, body aches and fatigue. More severe symptoms of either infection include difficulty breathing and subsequent infections like pneumonia.
Through the 2021-2022 flu season, the word “flurona” made its way in to the COVID-19 vernacular. Flurona identifies a simultaneous infection with both flu and COVID-19. While just a few cases of co-infections have already been reported, it could not be surprising to see more of these this coming flu season. Vaccination for both flu and COVID-19 can be your best protection against both.
Timing the shots
With the newly formulated COVID-19 booster shot available these days and flu season coming, an all natural question is whether there’s an optimal timing for both shots.
The solution compared to that question would be to get both as quickly as possible. It is very important consider that it requires approximately fourteen days after vaccination for your body to build up antibodies from both COVID-19 vaccines and the flu vaccine.
So long as you have completed most of your COVID-19 vaccine series and contains been at the very least eight weeks as your last COVID-19 booster, this is the time to obtain the updated COVID-19 vaccine that targets both original strain of SARS-CoV-2the virus that triggers COVID-19and the newest omicron subvariants. The initial COVID-19 vaccines and booster series have dramatically reduced the amount of COVID-19 infection and death rates, and also cases of severe COVID-19 that result in hospitalization.
While everyone six months old and older are recommended to get both COVID-19 and flu vaccines, certain populations have an increased risk for severe infection, such as for example women that are pregnant, and really should be extra vigilant about getting vaccinated.
Further, the type of vaccinated against COVID-19, symptoms during contamination are generally milder. However, due partly to the quickly evolving nature of the herpes virus, it’s become clear that immune protection from COVID-19 vaccination or infection will not last forever. While studies also show that the principal COVID-19 series maintains efficacy against severe disease and death half a year after vaccination, protection against infection decreases by between 20% to 30% by half a year after vaccination.
This decline in immune protection is strictly why booster shots are so critical. With out a large uptake of booster shots in the populace, COVID-19 infection rates could surge again.
Timing can be important with the flu vaccine. Flu cases typically commence to rise in October and peak between December and February, but can last through May. Ideally, people should get vaccinated before flu begins to spread, making September or early October the perfect flu vaccination time.
A hard flu season ahead
Because of lockdowns, reduced travel, school closures and mask mandates in the initial and second years of the pandemic, both 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 flu seasons were estimated to possess fewer hospitalizations and deaths from the flu in comparison to most of the pre-pandemic years.
In nov 2021, experts became worried about the prospect of a COVID-19 and flu “twindemic,” especially as COVID-19 restrictions were lifting and masks were coming off. Fortunately, the worst didn’t bear outflu numbers in the 2021-2022 season didn’t go back to pre-pandemic levels. However, the chance of a “twindemic” isn’t out from the picture for the coming flu season.
Flu seasons are inherently difficult to predict. With a lot of people traveling again, schools open, mask mandates lifted and workers headed back again to the office, folks are undoubtedly likely to come in contact with germs they have been more protected from going back two . 5 years.
To help expand compound this, flu vaccine rates have already been lower through the pandemic, suggesting that Americans could be out from the habit to getting their annual flu shot.
Pairing the shots
Most are also wondering if they can or should get both updated COVID-19 booster and the flu shot simultaneously. The good thing is, yes, it really is safe for both adults and children 12 years and up that are qualified to receive the updated COVID-19 booster to obtain these vaccines simultaneously.
A recently available study discovered that common vaccine unwanted effects such as for example pain at the injection site occurred at slightly higher rates when someone received the flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine simultaneously, instead of receiving just a COVID-19 booster. However, those reactions, including fatigue and headache, were mild and resolved inside a day or two.
You don’t have to make two separate vaccine visits so long as you are due for the next COVID-19 shot. However, I don’t recommend waiting to really get your flu shot if you’re not yet due for a COVID-19 booster. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests everyone receive their flu vaccine by the finish of October. But in the event that you miss that deadline, it really is absolutely easier to get vaccinated later in the growing season than never.
Community matters too
Obtaining the flu and COVID-19 vaccines isn’t only about your personal health, it’s about family and community health too. Communities with higher vaccination rates have fewer opportunities to spread the herpes virus.
Remember that lots of people can’t be vaccinated since they have weakened immune systems or are undergoing treatments. They be determined by those around them for protection. While one individual may experience mild symptoms should they contract the flu or COVID-19, they might spread the herpes virus to other people who could become severely ill. Because you can’t really predict how people will react should they get sick, obtaining the flu and COVID-19 vaccines is the greatest prevention strategy.
Citation: When in the event you obtain the new COVID-19 booster and the flu shot? Now could be the proper time for both (2022, September 22) retrieved 22 September 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-09-covid-booster-flu-shot.html
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