What’s New For The Upcoming Flu Season?
Are you ready for the upcoming flu season? While COVID-19 stole the limelight for the last few years, health experts warn that the flu is still out there, too. Flu season begins in October and runs through May. Here’s a look at what to expect for the upcoming flu season, how to prepare, and insight on prevention steps to take.
What’s New For The Upcoming Flu Season?
More people are out and about, increasing the chances that more individuals are exposed to the virus. Behavioral changes from masking up everywhere are now lax, gatherings are bigger, and individuals knew practicing hand hygiene was essential.
A few things are different for the 2022-2023 influenza (flu) season, including:
- The composition of flu vaccines has been updated.
- For the 2022-2023 flu season, there are three flu vaccines that are preferentially recommended for people 65 years and older. These are Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent recombinant flu vaccine and Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted flu vaccine.
- The recommended timing of vaccination is similar to last season. For most people who need only one dose for the season, September and October are generally good times to get vaccinated. Vaccination in July and August is not recommended for most adults but can be considered for some groups. While ideally it’s recommended to get vaccinated by the end of October, it’s important to know that vaccination after October can still provide protection during the peak of flu season.
- The age indication for the cell culture-based inactivated flu vaccine, Flucelvax Quadrivalent (ccIIV4), changed from 2 years and older to 6 months and older.
- Pre-filled Afluria Quadrivalent flu shots for children are not expected to be available this season. However, children can receive this vaccine from a multidose vial at the recommended dose.
For the newest research and trusted resources, always check the CDC or your local health department's websites. You can also have a conversation with your pharmacist or primary care doctor to better understand how the flu may impact you and your community this season.
Tips on How to Prepare for Flu Season
Flu prevention isn’t a one-and-done sort of deal. Prevent the flu and its spread, it’s an ongoing, everyday effort; here are a few tips for you to consider as we approach flu season:
Take Preventative Measures
Keeping a cleaning schedule for your home and office, stocking up on plenty of soap and hand sanitizer. Staying home when sick, and routinely sanitizing door knobs, and other high-touch surfaces in your home and office.
Watch Your Stress Levels
If you are under chronic, daily stress, you should take breaks. Stress lowers your immune function and if we don't have the opportunity to recover by taking a break, even as simple as getting outside for a walk, our chances of becoming ill increase. Other stress recovery activities are mindfulness, meditation, journaling, singing, or just talking with a friend.
Keep an Eye on Vitamin D Levels
Many people who have already experienced viral infections, and/or have inhibited immune systems should take proper precautions beginning in October of the year as the light time hours diminish. Supplementation can be provided with typical immuno-supportive nutrients such as vitamin c, zinc, and vitamin d. It is also important that people — especially from more vulnerable populations — clean their diet up. Eat less sugars, which can feed infections as well as inhibit immune systems.
Get the Flu Shot
Ideally, everyone should get their flu shot by the end of October. This ensures the vaccine has time to work before flu season starts to get active. This year’s recommendation from the CDC is adults 65 and older get the high-dose influenza vaccine for the best protection.
Prepare Now for the Upcoming 2022-23 Flu Season
There’s no time like now to start preparing for the flu season.
After dealing with the COVID pandemic for the last few years, the flu may seem like a minimal health concern, but being too relaxed about it can create negative issues.
By taking preventative measures and encouraging staff to stay home when sick, you do everyone a favor. If you or your family members are interested in getting their flu shot, please reach out to one of our eight locations.
How is your company preparing for the upcoming flu season? Reach out to us today to schedule a flu clinic at your workplace today!