By Carolina Boyd, Communications Associate
This time of the year is often associated with the holidays, but there is another season that has many in the medical professional worried; and that’s flu season. The 2021-2022 flu season is expected to be especially active because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The flu virus is most active during the fall and winter months. Flu season usually begins in October and peaks between December and February (so now is a good time to get your flu shot). Last year’s flu season was very mild, and because of that cases of the flu are expected to be higher this year, especially as COVID-prevention measures like hand washing, social distancing and masking are relaxed across the country.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that anyone over the age of six months get a flu shot every year, unless recommended otherwise by a medical professional. People at especially high risk for the flu include:
- Adults 65 years and older
- Children under the age of two
- Pregnant women
- Residents of nursing homes or other long-term facilities
- People with pre-existing conditions (heart disease, asthma and diabetes)
The best way to protect yourself against the flu is to make sure you get a flu shot. Each year the flu vaccine is updated to better match whatever virus is circulating around that year. According to the CDC, all flu vaccines for the 2021-2022 season will be quadrivalent and will protect against four different flu viruses. You can get a flu vaccine at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine, though you may want to talk to your medical provider first. It is recommended you get each vaccine in a different arm.
In addition to the flu vaccine, other ways to reduce the risk for the flu are frequent handwashing, covering your mouth when coughing, and avoiding people who are sick. Many of the same ways used to limit the spread of COVID.
It is possible to get both COVID-19 and the flu at the same times. Since both viruses produce similar symptoms, it can be hard to determine the different between the two. Legacy Community Health offers both COVID and flu vaccines, as well as other immunization services. Call 832-548-5000 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.