Faced with threat of second wave of COVID-19, experts say get flu shot as soon as you can – CBS New York

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s flu shot season and pharmacies are already reminding people to get the flu shot, but is it too early?If it looks like the pressure for the flu shot is early this year, you’re right. Normally it’s September or October, but this year, with the threat of a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall straddling the flu season, experts say the flu shot is especially important this year. .

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Last flu season, less than half of American adults, 45%, were vaccinated against the flu, reports CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez. But since many symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are similar, especially early on, doctors may not be able to tell the two apart and decide on the best treatment.

Two simultaneous outbreaks could be drastically reduced with the flu shot and now that the flu shot is available, most experts say get one as soon as you can.

But what about some studies that suggest immunity to the flu tends to wane over time? Is August too early if the flu season doesn’t peak until mid-winter next year?

“People over 65 or people who might be immunocompromised undergoing chemotherapy, certain high-risk groups that might go away after six months,” said Dr Purvi Parikh, of NYU Langone Health. “So, you know, if it’s been six months, you might want to talk to your doctor if it’s a good idea for you to get your flu shot or a booster.

A booster in this case simply means another flu shot. There is, however, a more potent influenza vaccine for people aged 65 and over, because their immune systems may not respond as vigorously to a standard vaccine.

While flu shots are free with most insurances, a booster may not be. It depends on your plan. In the end, it takes a few weeks to build immunity after a vaccine, so the best time to get a flu shot is as soon as you get it – like right now.

For the top questions people have about the coronavirus, visit cbsnewyork.com/max, and go to facebook.com/cbsnewyork to submit your question.

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