In the event you uncared for to get your flu shot this yr, it’s not too late — however some consideration needs to be paid to the timing when planning on your COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. David Weber, a professor of medication, pediatrics and epidemiology on the UNC Faculty of Drugs and UNC’s Gillings Faculty of International Public Well being, factors out that flu season often lasts till April or Might, so there’s nonetheless time to get the shot.
And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that the flu vaccine is more important than ever this yr, as a result of it not solely protects you and the folks round you from getting the flu, however fewer circumstances of the flu additionally “assist scale back the pressure on healthcare programs responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
However in the event you do plan to get the flu shot, Weber says that shot (and another vaccines) needs to be separated by a minimum of two weeks, per CDC suggestions.
Dr. Anita Skariah, internist and pediatrician at UNC Well being, explains that in scientific trials, “sufferers who obtained the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines didn’t obtain another vaccines a minimum of two weeks prior or two weeks after their collection. We need to mimic the situations as shut as attainable to the trials to make sure security and efficacy till we all know extra.”
Flu circumstances are down, nevertheless it’s ‘nonetheless circulating’
The CDC emphasizes that “there isn’t any proof that getting a flu vaccine will increase your threat of getting sick from a coronavirus, just like the one which causes COVID-19.”
As of Jan. 1, the CDC reports that 192.5 million flu vaccines have been distributed for the 2020-2021 flu season in the US, in comparison with 174 million the earlier season.
The variety of reported circumstances of the flu are “a lot diminished,” this season, says Weber, “probably attributable to sporting masks and bodily distancing.”
ABC Information has reported that data analysts for the drug chain Walgreens counsel that “flu exercise, or incidence of flu circumstances, in November 2020 was roughly 91% decrease than in November 2019.” Walgreens has been monitoring gross sales of antiviral drugs for flu over the previous seven years.
Even so, Skariah says, the flu remains to be circulating.
“As some people have traveled through the holidays and a few faculties are returning in-person, the necessity for defense in opposition to influenza stays.”
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine in North Carolina
North Carolina is presently engaged on Group 2, vaccinating older adults, age 65 and over, and healthcare employees who come into contact with sufferers on this group.
You could find extra info on the way to discover your home within the COVID-19 vaccination plan at covid19.ncdhhs.gov/findyourspot.