While it’s not possible to say what will happen this fall and winter, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) believes that the flu virus (influenza) and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading this year. To prepare for the colder months, please heed this public health advice.
While the COVID-19 vaccine is in its initial stage of distribution, the influenza vaccine is widely available and proven to prevent the spread of viral infection. The flu vaccine remains the best way to protect yourself and loved ones from influenza. The flu vaccine prevents illnesses that lead to unnecessary medical visits and hospitalizations, which further strain the healthcare system. Individuals aged 65 years and older and those with certain chronic medical conditions become high-risk patients if they develop serious flu-related complications.
Beginning in October, the following Ogden Clinic locations will offer affordable flu shots during business hours.
Our flu shots have a $0 co-pay with most insurance plans*. No insurance? No problem. Our flu shot self-pay rate is only $35 upfront (or $50 for patients over age 65).*Check with your insurance carrier beforehand, providers and plans will vary.
The flu shot works by injecting a weaken form of the flu virus so the body will begin developing antibodies to protect against the virus. Each year, flu vaccines are developed to protect against these three primary forms of influenza virus:
In the US, flu season typically begins in early October and may run until as late as May. Peak seasons for influenza are December, January, and February. The CDC encourages individuals to get vaccinated as early as possible, so swing by a participating clinic before the end of October.
A: The elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and people with existing respiratory conditions like asthma or lung disease are at risk of having more complex complications if they were to contract COVID-19.
A: Different flu shots are approved for people of different ages. Everyone should get an influenza vaccine that is appropriate for their age unless they are part of the following populations:
More information from the CDC here.
A: The flu vaccine is most effective in the first three months after getting the shot, but it lasts for about six months. Over time, antibody levels decline and changes in the flu strain from year to year mean the antibodies you do have are less effective against new strains.
A: The influenza shot is fully covered by insurance with no co-pay. If you do not have insurance, a self-pay flu shot is $35 or $50 for patients over age 65.
A: Nope. Flu shots at Ogden Clinic are available on a walk-in basis.
A: Annual flu vaccination is recommended for all children ages 6 months and up. If your infant is less than 6 months old, those around your baby should receive the vaccine to protect the baby, as infants are one of the highest risk groups for complications of influenza. For all kids age 6 months to 5 years, as well as those with chronic medical conditions, the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks. Learn more about flu shot recommendations for babies and children on the CDC website.
A: The flu vaccine will not protect you against COVID-19; however, flu vaccination has other important benefits such as reducing the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death. And getting your flu vaccine this fall will help conserve scarce healthcare resources.
A: Unfortunately, yes — and if you have the coronavirus and the flu at the same time, the resulting impact could be even more severe than having either infection alone. By this fall, some areas may have a test available that can look for both the coronavirus and flu viruses so you may only need one test.
A: Both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. Common symptoms that COVID-19 and flu share include:
Flu differences: Flu viruses can cause mild to severe illness, including common signs and symptoms listed above. Learn more about flu symptoms here.
COVID-19 differences; COVID-19 seems to cause more serious illnesses in some people. Other signs and symptoms of COVID-19, different from flu, may include change in or loss of taste or smell. Learn more about COVID-19 symptoms here.
Learn more about the contagious period of each virus here.
A: People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting the flu vaccine. If you are ill, check with your healthcare provider first. People with mild illness can usually receive the vaccine.
A: The CDC highly recommends flu vaccinations during any stage of pregnancy. If you have questions or concerns, please check with your healthcare provider.
A: Data out of the Southern Hemisphere indicates that their flu season was not as severe as in years’ past due to mask mandates and social distancing. No one knows for sure how the 2020 flu season will impact the Northern Hemisphere, but it will largely depend on public behavior. Getting vaccinated, along with staying home, masking up, and keeping one’s distance, could dampen flu season and prevent a dual outbreak.