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Flu season is here: The time is now to vaccinate

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Megan Martin
  • 23rd Medical Group Public Health

Fall is in full swing, and the season doesn't only mark the beginning of pumpkin spice lattes and festivals, but it's also recommended to schedule your influenza and COVID-19 vaccines.

These vaccinations, authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, are highly encouraged because they remain an important step to protect yourself from getting seriously ill or even dying from COVID-19 or influenza.

“Vaccines are the best way to stay medically ready,” said Maj. Jeremy Berger, Chief of Aerospace Medicine and Moody AFB’s Public Health Emergency Officer. “They prevent communicable diseases both in garrison and in deployed settings.”

Recently, Pfizer and Moderna developed a newly updated COVID-19 booster that protects against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. This was needed because the virus that causes COVID-19 has changed over time, and studies indicate that COVID-19 reinfection is possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are researching more about these reinfections (i.e., how often reinfections occur, who is at higher risk for reinfection.)

The recommendation for the use of a higher dose and adjuvanted flu vaccines in people 65 and older is new this season. These new recommendations help create a stronger immune response for this high-risk group.

The CDC is currently reporting higher than normal influenza activity. The increased flu activity has been reported throughout most of the United States with the southeast and south-central areas of the country.

Influenza vaccines are offered for people 6-months-old and older, so the best way to keep you and your loved ones protected this season is to get vaccinated. The 23d Medical Group is now offering both the new COVID-19 boosters and influenza vaccine.

To schedule your COVID-19 primary series or booster visit: People 6 months and older are eligible to receive their COVID-19 primary series. People 5 years and older are eligible to receive the new COVID-19 booster if it has been at least two months since their last COVID-19 vaccine dose, whether that was the final primary series dose or the original booster. If you recently had COVID-19, you may consider delaying your next vaccine dose (whether a primary dose or booster) by three months from when your symptoms started, or if you had no symptoms, when you first received a positive test.

People 6 months and older are eligible to receive their influenza vaccine.