Flu Shot during the Coronavirus pandemic
~ CDC.gov
 
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~ www.cdc.gov
 
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  Flu Shot during the Coronavirus pandemic  
  ~ CDC.gov  
 

flu shotBecause of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses, like flu, this fall and winter is more important than ever. CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has worked with vaccine manufacturers to have extra flu vaccine available this flu season. Manufacturers have already begun distributing flu vaccine and will continue to distribute vaccine throughout the season. CDC recommends getting a flu vaccination in September or October but getting vaccinated anytime during the flu season can help protect you.

Why do I need a flu shot every year?

There are many different flu viruses and they are constantly changing. The composition of U.S. flu vaccines is reviewed annually and updated as needed to match circulating flu viruses. Flu vaccines protect against the three or four viruses (depending on the vaccine) that research suggests will be most common.

For 2020-2021 there are a variety of vaccines being used to contain the following four strains:

  • Influenza A (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • Influenza A (H3N2)-like virus
  • Influenza B (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus
  • Influenza B (Yamagata lineage) virus

Do we need to get a flu vaccine earlier this year

There is no change in CDC's recommendation on timing of vaccination this flu season. Getting vaccinated in July or August is too early, especially for older people, because of the likelihood of reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season. September and October are good times to get vaccinated. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue, even in January or later.

Who should get a flu shot this season?

flu shot administeredEveryone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza.

Different flu vaccines are approved for use in different groups of people:

Will a flu vaccine protect me against COVID-19?

Getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, however flu vaccination has many other important benefits. Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death. Getting a flu vaccine this fall will be more important than ever, not only to reduce your risk from flu but also to help conserve potentially scarce health care resources.

Where can I get a flu shot?

Like previous years, free flu shots will be given at all VA Medical Centers and Community Based Outpatient Clinics. A Veteran simply needs to visit any VA medical facility and ask for a vaccination or ask their primary care physician for a flu shot during an appointment.

Veterans can also receive a no-cost vaccination is through the VA-Walgreens partnership. There are 9,600 Walgreens pharmacies nationally. The Veteran simply needs to visit a Walgreens pharmacy and present their Veterans Health Identification Card and one other form of photo ID to receive a vaccination.

VA does not vaccinate family members of Veterans or VA staff.

To learn more about the Flu Shot for this season
visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC logo


 

 
     
   
 
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