Flu Season Update

Vaccinations and Immunizations

Cynthia McReynolds, Program Manager, Immunization Initiative, Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MCAAP)

The 2020-2021 influenza season is upon us.

It is more important than ever during the current COVID-19 pandemic to make sure that you and your family get a flu vaccine! The flu vaccine helps your body protect against the flu and it is your best protection against the virus.  It is likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both spread this fall and winter.  While getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, flu vaccines can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and death.  Additionally, getting a flu vaccine also can save healthcare resources for the care of patients with COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older, for whom vaccination is appropriate, get a flu vaccine. As a reminder, the flu vaccine is now required for all Massachusetts school students enrolled in childcare, pre-school, K-12, and post-secondary institutions. More information about this requirement can be found here.

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While getting a flu vaccine before the end of October is recommended, vaccination is recommended while flu is circulating.  In our region, flu may continue to circulate until spring.

Learn about the flu vaccine and find out where you can get a flu vaccine by asking your primary care provider, going to a local pharmacy, or visiting vaccinefinder.org.

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Resources:

1. The Flu: A Guide for Parents from the CDC

2. Flu Facts Flyer: Massachusetts Department of Public Health