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With winter coming, flu season is fast approaching. The approach of flu season is inevitably accompanied by calls to get your annual flu shot. You’ve probably also heard about the new updated Covid-19 shots designed to protect you against two Omicron subvariants. We’re here to answer your questions about these shots and explain why it’s important for older adults to get vaccinated.

Why Get Your Flu Shot?

While it’s impossible to predict the future, experts are warning us to expect a severe flu season. This warning is based on the fact that Australia, which is reaching the end of its flu season, had it’s worst flu season in 5 years. In the past, Australia’s experience with the flu has been a good predictor of how our own flu season will be. Accordingly, this year’s severe Australian flu season is a warning sign that we may have a bad flu season here. In light of these predictions, Americans would be wise to protect themselves against the flu by getting a flu shot.

Our risk of contracting the flu is being exacerbated by the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions. Many of the steps we took over the past couple of years to protect ourselves against Covid-19, like masking, hand washing, and social distancing, also served to protect us against the flu. Experts believe that these types of measures contributed to the relatively mild flu seasons we experienced the past two winters. As many Americans have stopped masking and started socializing more, we are now at greater risk of contracting the flu, making it doubly important to get your flu vaccine. The best way to protect yourself against a nasty flu season is to get vaccinated.

Click here to learn more about where to get vaccinated in Contra Costa County.

Why Get the Updated Covid Vaccine?

The updated Covid-19 vaccine was developed to protect against two of the Omicron subvariants, Omicron BA.4 and BA.5. Even if you already received your initial Covid-19 vaccine and booster, it’s important to get this updated vaccine. These Omicron subvariants are more transmissible and immune-evading than previous variants and now account for almost 80% of Covid-19 cases in the United States. By getting the updated vaccine, you can increase your protection against the Omicron subvariants improve the likelihood of staying healthy this winter. Click here to learn more about the updated Covid-19 vaccine.

Click here to learn more about getting vaccinated in Contra Costa County.

Can you Get Your Flu Shot and Covid-19 Vaccine At the Same Time?

Many of you might be wondering whether you can get your flu shot and Covid-19 vaccine at the same time. Experts say the answer to this question is yes, it is safe to get both vaccines at once. As with anything, there are pros and cons to getting both shots at the same time. One benefit to getting both shots together is that it’s more convenient and you only need to make one trip to the doctor or pharmacy. Getting both shots at once might also make it more likely that you’ll actually follow through on getting your shots. It can be easy to forget something like a flu shot, and by getting both at once you won’t need to remember to go back for second vaccine appointment.

The downside of getting both shots at once is that you may experience more side effects than if you got the vaccines on separate occasions. If you get both vaccines in the same arm, that arm may be extra sore. If you’re concerned about this but you want to get both vaccines together, consider getting one vaccine in each arm.[1] If you have questions or concerns about either vaccine or about the timing of vaccination, talk to your doctor.

Click here  and click here to learn more about mixing your Covid-19 and flu vaccines

Click here to learn more about vaccines for older adults