Flu season is approaching, and experts say we need to get familiar with the challenges the new strains bring.
'Every year, everyone should look to see what the new recommendations are for the flu vaccine, the CDC updates their website to provide the most accurate information," said Heidy Hwang, a board certified pharmacist and National Director of Clinical Services for UnitedRx.
Hwang said the US has seen a steep decline in flu cases the last two years. She said that may offer false hope, and we need to keep our guard, and immune system up. Hwang said since COVID and the flu share similar symptoms, testing will be key. And, you can get both a COVID and flu vaccine at the same time.
"It is safe for everyone to get the flu vaccine and the COVID vaccine at the same time, you don't have to space it out at all," said Hwang.
The CDC recommends you get the flu shot before the end of October so you are protected for the height of flu season, which is in between December and February. And, there's a new, CDC recommended high-dose flu shots exclusively for those 65 and up. Hwang said claims the flu vaccine can make sick, are not true.
"The flu vaccine contains inactivated flu virus, so, the inactivated virus can not give you the flu so you might feel slightly achy or feverish after getting the vaccine, and that's completely normal, that's just your immune system working after the vaccine," she said. "And it generally only lasts about a day or two where the flu can last a week or two."
For more information on the 2022 flu season, click here.