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Fall Season Means Flu Season!

Fall Season Means Flu Season!

Fall is officially here, which means foliage, sweaters and cooler weather!

With the fall and winter months also comes cold and flu season – and we can expect an increase in COVID cases as people stay indoors from the chilly weather. Take the necessary steps soon to protect yourself from getting sick this fall. As always, if you start to feel unwell, contact your provider or visit Valley Health Urgent Care.

COVID-19

If you haven’t received your initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, there’s no better time than now. Check with your provider if you have any questions or concerns about getting vaccinated.

Updated Omicron boosters are now available at local pharmacies and health departments. The following requirements apply for the Pfizer Bivalent and Moderna Bivalent vaccines:

Pfizer Bivalent (Original and Omicron BA.4/BA.5) “updated booster”

  • Must be 12 years or older
  • Must be at least 2 months from primary COVID series or most recent COVID Booster
  • Can be a booster for Moderna, Pfizer or J&J primary COVID series vaccinations

Moderna Bivalent (Original and Omicron BA.4/BA.5) “updated booster”

  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must be at least 2 months from primary COVID series or most recent COVID Booster
  • Can be a booster for Moderna, Pfizer or J&J primary COVID series vaccinations

*Bring your COVID-19 vaccination card with you to get your vaccine or booster.

Our COVID-19 blog provides guidance on what to do if you suspect you have COVID-19.

Flu

According to the CDC, a few things are different for the 2022-2023 influenza (flu) season, including:

  • The composition of flu vaccines has been updated.
  • For the 2022-2023 flu season, there are three flu vaccines that are preferentially recommended for people 65 years and older. These are Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent recombinant flu vaccine and Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted flu vaccine.
  • The recommended timing of vaccination is similar to last season. For most people who need only one dose for the season, September and October are generally good times to get vaccinated. Vaccination in July and August is not recommended for most adults but can be considered for some groups. While ideally it’s recommended to get vaccinated by the end of October, it’s important to know that vaccination after October can still provide protection during the peak of flu season.
  • The age indication for the cell culture-based inactivated flu vaccine, Flucelvax Quadrivalent (ccIIV4), changed from 2 years and older to 6 months and older.
  • Pre-filled Afluria Quadrivalent flu shots for children are not expected to be available this season. However, children can receive this vaccine from a multi-dose vial at the recommended dose.

For more information on flu season, check out the CDC’s website.

Monkeypox

While monkeypox is a new term and less prevalent than COVID-19, cases have been detected in our community.

Unlike COVID-19, which spreads through the air, monkeypox is a disease spread by close skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. The monkeypox virus is in the same family as the smallpox virus, meaning symptoms can be very similar. People with monkeypox will typically get a rash around the genitals and anus. It can also be found on other areas like hands, feet, face, or mouth.

Visit our monkeypox blog for more information.