It's National Immunization Awareness Month!
Children aren't the only ones that need vaccines. Many adults, especially older adults, need to be immunized in order to protect themselves against certain illnesses and diseases. Many preventable diseases can bring about serious illness and even death in senior citizens who fail to get the proper vaccinations. In fact, 45,000 adults die every year from complications due to vaccine-preventable diseases, says John Muir Health. You may not think you need vaccines or perhaps you have heard of side effects that come with the vaccine itself. However, the fact of the matter is, if you are 65 or older, you are at an increased risk of complications from many diseases.
Vaccines work by stimulating the body’s immune system to safely provide protection against viruses or bacteria that cause infection. The World Health Organization estimates that immunization currently prevents 3.5-5 million deaths every year from diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza and measles and tens of millions of people are alive today because of the COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines to prevent infectious diseases are given to millions of babies, children, adolescents and adults, so it is critical that they are demonstrated to be safe and effective. Vaccines undergo a rigorous FDA evaluation of laboratory and clinical data to ensure their safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality. The FDA is working to promote reliable information and discredit misinformation or disinformation that is intentionally designed to harm people. For accurate information about immunizations, look for information from our U.S. government partners, such as the CDC and your local health authority. It’s ok to have questions about vaccines, so if you do, talk to a health care professional.
Q-Should I get the Covid-19 and flu shot at the same time?
Not only is it safe to get both vaccines, but getting them at the same time could save you time and money. When you get vaccinated at your healthcare provider’s office, local pharmacy, or other clinic for both, you can take less time off work, from school or away from daily activities.
Q: When is the best time to get the flu shot?
In general, it takes about two weeks after getting vaccinated for your body to develop the antibodies to provide protection against the flu. That is why you should get vaccinated before the virus spreads in your community. In the U.S., it is generally recommended that you receive your flu shot before the end of October.
Q: Do I need the flu shot if I have had the COVID-19 vaccine? Will the shots interfere with each other?
The flu and COVID-19 are different diseases so you need both vaccines to be protected from each one. A flu shot provides a specific ‘key’ that unlocks a strengthened immune response to protect against influenza. And a COVID-19 vaccine provides a different ‘key’ that also unlocks a strengthened immune response to protect against COVID-19. There is no master key that works for all viruses, so getting vaccinated against both infectious diseases will help keep you healthy. Getting the flu shot will not counteract the effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.