Flu Shots: What’s New for the 2021-2022 Season
October 12, 2021 by Keely Knopp
From the Mercy Occupational Medicine October eNewsletter
With much of the news focused on the recent resurgence in Covid-19 cases, it is easy to forget about other viruses such as influenza. The flu is likely to be as prevalent this season as it has been in the past, and paired with the threat of COVID-19, it is especially important to protect yourself and your employees with a seasonal flu vaccine.
However, there are some recent changes to the flu vaccine for the 2021-2022 flu season that people should be aware of before receiving the shot.
- The composition of flu vaccines has been updated. There are many different strands of the influenza virus and they are constantly mutating. The composition of the flu vaccine is reviewed annually and updated as needed to match circulating flu viruses.
- All flu vaccines will be quadrivalent. Seasonal flu vaccines are designed to protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. All flu vaccines in the United States are “quadrivalent” vaccines, which means they protect against four different flu viruses: an influenza A(H1N1) virus, an influenza A(H3N2) virus, and two influenza B viruses.
- Flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time. Even though both vaccines can be given at the same visit, people should follow the recommended schedule for either vaccine. The CDC recommends getting a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can, and, ideally, a flu vaccine by the end of October.
- Recommended recipients of flu vaccination. The CDC recommends everyone over 6 months old receive the flu vaccine every year with few exceptions. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications.
Mercy Urgent Care can help support your employees with flu vaccinations for your workforce. To learn about onsite flu vaccination clinics for your business, contact Mercy Occupational Medicine.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention