Why: The current focus on the COVID-19 pandemic should not distract us from the risk posed by seasonal influenza infections which can cause tens of thousands of deaths. Furthermore, the combination of COVID-19 and Influenza could potentially place a huge strain on the healthcare system. Every year you need to receive the influenza vaccination more so, this year.
When: In the Northern Hemisphere, the influenza season runs from late Fall into the Spring, even until May. Unfortunately, the influenza vaccine effectiveness wanes after several months creating a question of when to administer the vaccination: too soon and the protection wears off before the influenza season ends and too late runs the risk of the virus striking people before they are vaccinated. Administering the vaccine in October-November represents the best compromise, even during the present pandemic.
Where: We should receive our supply of influenza vaccines by September and plan to open “flu shot clinics” beginning in October. We will have regular influenza vaccines as well as the more potent vaccines indicated for those over 65, who need a stronger dosage to create enough immunity. You can contact us to schedule an appointment for a vaccination. Also, the pharmacies now administer influenza vaccines as well. Where you receive the vaccination does not matter, so long as you get vaccinated. Please use whichever location would be most convenient for you.
Please contact me with any questions.
Barry Rotman MD