Colds, flu and COVID-19 continue to make their way around this time of year. Some may think it’s too late to get the flu shot now, right?
“Soon after getting a flu vaccine, a person’s antibodies rocket skyward, conferring protection against infection and disease. But three months later, the effect of the vaccine has largely worn off. Meanwhile, flu season is known to extend well into the spring,” said Philip Robinson, M.D., F.I.D.S.A, medical director of Infection Prevention at Hoag. “While we advise people to get the flu vaccine in the fall, it is not too late to get the vaccine in the winter.”
To learn more about whether you should roll up your sleeve for the influenza vaccine this month, reach out to your Hoag primary care physician, www.hoag.org.
In the meantime, Dr. Robinson offers a few sharp points about the benefit of winter shots:
It’s Better to Be Late Than Fever-y: If you haven’t gotten your flu shot, pay attention to flu cases in your community. If they’re on the rise, get your shot. “The vaccine offers four solid months of protection,” Dr. Robinson said. “We are not seeing a decline in flu cases locally, so if you have not received your vaccine yet, now is the time to do it.”
It’s Ugly Out There: Hospitalizations from influenza haven’t been this high in Southern California since the 2009 swine flu epidemic. “Flu season came on strong this year. And with the rising cases of RSV and the continued threat from COVID-19, we have been contending with a triple-demic,” Dr. Robinson said. “Staying current on all of your vaccinations, flu and COVID-19, can help you, your family and your community stay safe.”
It’s a Good Match: The CDC says this year’s flu shot appears to be a very good match to the circulating strains. “The good news is, we are inoculating against the right strains of the flu,” Dr. Robinson said. “The bad news is not enough people elected to get their flu shots this year. The results have been a harsh flu season. But it’s not too late. If you have not been vaccinated, please consider doing so now.”
Reach out to your Hoag primary care physician to schedule an appointment at www.hoagmedicalgroup.com.