Flu season and COVID-19: Here’s how to avoid infections this fall

Kristina Nokes receives a flu shot from Scott Kendall at Rite Aid Pharmacy in Murray on Aug. 7, 2012. Doctors believe this flu season might be a severe one in the U.S. after Australia's season just ended — and with it took 300 lives and caused 1,700 hospitalizations.

Flu season and COVID-19: This is tips on how to keep away from infections this fall

Kristina Nokes receives a flu shot from Scott Kendall at Ceremony Help Pharmacy in Murray August 7, 2012. Medical doctors assume this flu season could possibly be severe in the US after the Australian season has ended – and with it has claimed the lives of 300 folks and induced 1,700 hospitalizations. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret Information)

Estimated studying time: 4-5 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY – Medical doctors assume this flu season could possibly be severe in the US after the Australian season ended – and with it claimed the lives of 300 folks and induced 1,700 hospitalizations.

Kencee Graves, affiliate professor of inner medication and chief medical officer for inpatient well being on the College of Utah Well being, famous that Utah has not seen flu outbreaks previously two years. .

Australia – which the US is watching to foretell what states would possibly see – has seen a pointy rise in extreme flu instances this yr. In 2021, the nation had no flu deaths and solely a handful of hospitalizations. However this season, the nation has quintupled the variety of severe instances and deaths, Graves mentioned.

“That is what worries us a bit in the US about how severe this flu season is,” she mentioned.

This makes this yr an necessary yr to get your flu shot. On the similar time, the coronavirus continues to flow into locally – simply not on the ranges it as soon as had. The flu shot “is fairly predictable from yr to yr,” Graves mentioned. The vaccine differs from yr to yr relying on which flu variant is circulating, however the timing “is at all times precisely the identical”.

Medical doctors suggest folks get the flu shot in September or October, earlier than Halloween. Flu season begins in October and continues by March, in response to Graves.

Flu pictures are actually obtainable statewide.

It is okay to get the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine on the similar time, in response to Graves. But when somebody has had a extreme vaccine response previously, it is likely to be sensible to get their flu and COVID-19 pictures at completely different occasions.

Present COVID-19 Safety

An individual’s first spherical of vaccines confers immunity to COVID-19, after which follow-up boosters add to that immunity. The unique recollects had been for the unique pressure of SARS-CoV-2, famous Dr. Hannah Imlay, assistant professor of inner medication within the Division of Infectious Illnesses at College of Utah Well being.

However successive waves of various variants have swept the world, she mentioned, and vaccines do not goal them equally. They shield in opposition to severe sickness and loss of life, she mentioned. However the brand new bivalent booster targets present variants in addition to the ancestral pressure.

Booster vaccine availability might be discovered at

Individuals who have already acquired boosters “are fairly properly protected,” Imlay mentioned, however immunity to any sort of COVID-19 an infection “tends to say no after just a few months.”

The brand new bivalent boosters are allowed to be taken not less than two months after the final vaccine dose, no matter what number of boosters an individual receives, in response to Imlay.

She mentioned “spacing” vaccine doses and an infection helps improve safety in opposition to the illness. You probably have had a latest COVID-19 an infection, it could be greatest to attend not less than three months earlier than receiving the bivalent booster.

“You get a variety of immune priming out of your an infection, you get a variety of immune priming out of your most up-to-date dose of vaccine, so wait a bit earlier than you get the bivalent booster,” Imlay mentioned as a “basic advice.” .

However those that are immunocompromised or who count on to attend a giant occasion quickly might wish to take the bivalent vaccine sooner.

Medical doctors do not but understand how lengthy immunity wanes after the bivalent booster, however Imlay mentioned they count on immunity may final between 4 and 6 months. When requested if somebody ought to get vaccinated earlier than Halloween or Thanksgiving occasions, Imlay mentioned they’d obtain a booster not less than 10 days earlier than a possible COVID-19 publicity occasion.

Mixing and matching vaccines is OK, Imlay mentioned, urging folks to get the pictures which can be obtainable to them.

Requested if she thinks the pandemic is over, Imlay identified that persons are nonetheless getting COVID-19 — with a mean of 70,000 new instances and 500 deaths day by day in the US.

“Having mentioned that, many coverage choices and selections that we have now made as a inhabitants have actually turned this right into a large-scale public well being response right into a response that hopefully is extra sustainable and has form of targeted on the endemic mannequin,” she mentioned, including that the nation will proceed to see “a excessive variety of instances.”

Instruments in opposition to illness are actually being promoted at a “private” stage of safety somewhat than a inhabitants stage, Imlay added.

She mentioned she suspects, primarily based on modeling, the state will doubtless have one other fall wave of the illness, however the bivalent booster may assist forestall “immune evasion” — that’s. that’s, when the virus has modified sufficient to have the ability to evade folks’s immunity.

Utah’s Newest Tales

Ashley Imlay covers state politics and breaking information for A lifelong Utahn, Ashley additionally labored as a reporter for the Deseret Information and is a graduate of Dixie State College.

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