Confused about the flu and COVID-19 vaccines? Not sure which booster or vaccine you should get or when you should get it? You’re not alone. With the FDA authorization of bivalent boosters and influenza (flu) vaccines now available, it can be tricky to navigate the most recent vaccine recommendations. Here is a quick cheat sheet to help get you fully protected from the flu and COVID-19.
Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season, with rare exceptions. It is especially important for individuals with high risk for flu complications to get vaccinated to decrease their risk of severe illness. These include seniors and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, lung disease and kidney disease. If you are at high risk, it is especially important for you to get a flu vaccine this year. Getting a flu vaccine will not only reduce your risk from flu but also help conserve potentially scarce healthcare resources. Anyone with a medical condition that makes the flu vaccine inadvisable, should consult with their healthcare provider regarding vaccination.
COVID-19 BIVALENT BOOSTERS
The updated (bivalent) boosters are called “bivalent” because they protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5. If it has been two months since you received your primary two-dose COVID vaccine or a monovalent booster, it is recommended for anyone five years and older get a bivalent booster to be most protected against COVID-19. For more information regarding COVID-19 booster recommendations, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
In need of both the flu and COVID-19 vaccine? You’re in luck, the CDC has indicated that it is safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same visit. All Sacramento County Public Health flu clinics have both flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines. This includes first and second primary doses and bivalent boosters. All clinics take walk-ins or visit www.sacvax.com to make an appointment. For a full list of clinic dates and locations, visit the Public Health website.
For questions or to find out more about the vaccination clinics, contact the Sacramento County Immunization Assistance Program at 916-875-7468 or visit www.sacvax.com.
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