The CDC has just changed this important COVID vaccine guideline


No, it’s not too late to get a flu shot

The time can be so smooth – especially this year. One moment you unpack your fall sweaters and make a mental note to get the flu shot. And next, somehow there’s snow on the ground, and you wonder if you missed your window completely. If this is you, we have good news: “It’s not too late,” said Dr. Jake Deutsch, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Cure Urgent Care. Although The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people get their flu vaccines by the end of October, it says the shots should be offered during the flu season, which can last until April or May. As long as there are still strains of the virus (and there are a few, mostly the flu A and B), you can get a vaccine. Even if you get it now, it’s not too late. “It is only too late when the seasonal supply of flu vaccine is up,” Charles Golden, DO, vice president and executive medical director, CHOC Children’s Primary Care Network, told Refinery29 earlier. “We usually recommend the flu vaccine to anyone who has not had it once in that season, even in April or May.” It’s worth protecting yourself sooner rather than later, and make an appointment – especially since the flu virus is at its peak in January. “I would not worry about waiting too long, especially if you are in the vicinity of people who are immune or have people in health care – those who are at higher risk or can expose you,” says Dr. Deutsch. Even if you run out of it today, you will not get it right away. “It does take two to four weeks to develop antibodies,” says Dr. Deutsch. ‘You get an inactivated piece of virus – an antigen – and our body responds by making antibodies. But for those who are fully developed, it takes time. (And no, that does not mean that the vaccine can give you the real flu, says the CDC). So keep washing your hands and take other precautions in mind – although hopefully you are already taking preventative measures, such as social removal and masking, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well. The CDC points out that the effectiveness of the flu vaccine varies from year to year, and studies show that it generally reduces the risk of disease by 40% to 60%. So, yes, it is still possible to catch the flu even after you have had the chance. But do not let that put you off, even if you are tempted to wait until next fall. “Vaccination reduces the severity of the disease with certainty,” says Dr. Deutsch. “And even reducing the spread of the disease by about 50% is enough to change the outcome of a flu season, which is why it is so important to be vaccinated.” Aside from symptoms such as chills, dehydration, fatigue and fever, flu can also be fatal. “In a bad year, we could see 30,000 deaths in the United States, so it’s not insignificant,” says Dr. Deutsch. The more severe flu cases there are, the more ICU beds become full while hospitals are already overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases. Nearly every hospital in the state of Los Angeles no longer has capacity, The New York Times reported on December 26. And over the weekend, the US reached a devastating record: 1 in 1,000 people has died from SARS-CoV-2 since our first case at the end of January 2020. Earlier this year, there were reports that this winter was a “twindemie” or may cause an overlapping increase in both influenza and COVID-19 effects. Although COVID-19 cases have definitely increased in the U.S. over the past month, Drs. Deutsch that it is still too early to know whether we are approaching a twin anemia, as the flu season will only be at its peak in January. He adds that increased mask wear can also prevent the spread of flu. Plus, thanks to sweeping public health campaigns regarding flu shots this summer and fall, an “unprecedented” number of people have been vaccinated this year, adds dr. Deutsch by. ‘As of December 4, 2020, 189.4 million doses of flu vaccine have been distributed in the United States. This is the highest number of flu doses distributed in the United States during a single flu season, ‘the CDC reported. So, if you are one of the people who forgot or postponed it, there is no time like the present. Of course, because it’s a little later in the season, you may need to do a little research to find a place that offers the shot now. So call ahead. ‘Pharmacies are one source, but there are other options. Ask for urgent care centers, primary health care offices, or [your state’s health department], ”Says Dr. Deutsch. “Some employers do that. Some health care systems do this for free. Be resourceful if your first option is not available. One place to start is The conclusion, according to dr. Golden: “Some protection is better than none.” And, to rely on an old cliché, “better late than never.” As you can see? How about another R29 goodness, here? When do you get a flu shot in 2020 – timing? This flu season may be the worst, but Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine has just been approved by the FDA