Health officials urge flu vaccination, COVID-19 booster ahead of potentially more severe flu season
WYNNEWOOD, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — With the temperatures dropping, health officials are warning of a potentially more severe flu season compared to past years.
“Each year, scientists look at the circulating strains in the Southern Hemisphere and try to predict what strains are going to be in the Northern Hemisphere,” said Dr. Lawrence Livornese, Chairman of Medicine at Main Line Health. “Sometimes they get it right, other times not so much.”
In the Southern Hemisphere, Australia is experiencing its worst flu season in at least five years, a possible foreshadowing of what’s to come in the US. The flu season virtually disappeared in the last two years due to COVID shutdowns, masking and social distancing. But now, things are back to normal.
Doctors are encouraging the flu shot to decrease your chances of severe disease and urging everyone to get the COVID-19 booster shot, which targets the omicron variant.
“We may see a milder COVID season this year than compared to last year but it’s very possible a new mutation may appear and things may change in ways that we don’t really expect right now,” said Livornese.
Doctors highly recommend getting the flu shot between now and the end of October to be most protected. They say you can get both the flu shot and the COVID booster at the same time.