ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — It’s still summer, but never too early to start talking flu season.
Dr. William Valenti, co-founder of Trillium Health in Rochester says their clinic is still awaiting a shipment of this year’s flu vaccine.
“Flu season starts anytime now,” said Dr. Valenti with Trillium Health.
The past few years have been relatively light for flu, he said. Most likely, a result of COVID protocols and mask-wearing.
As those become less and less, the flu season this year may come with more cases. Dr. Valenti said it’s tricky to predict.
“So we’re getting ready for a bigger flu season this year, we want to be prepared for it,” he said.
Part of the preparation is urging patients to get both their flu and COVID booster, at the same time. But Dr. Valenti says they’re still awaiting COVID booster shipments, and the F-D-A has yet to approve the updated COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Ed Walsh, professor of medicine at the University of Rochester agrees — getting both shots at once is smart. He said their pharmacies are also awaiting a shipment of flu vaccines.
“In terms of timing of vaccines, that becomes very difficult this year, especially,” said Dr. Walsh.
That’s because the past few years have been very erratic, he said.
“Last year we did see a bit of flu, around late Dec. early Jan., then died out a bit then came back a little more in April,” he said. Dr. Walsh says there have been more Flu B cases this summer, generally among children.
He said the usual recommendation is to get vaccinated in the fall; Sept., Oct., and November, typically two to four weeks before the flu hits. But again, he said there’s no telling when exactly the flu will arrive.
If you’re looking to get your flu vaccine soon, you can get yours at any CVS nationwide. Remember: anyone six months and older can get both the flu and COVID shot.
Doctors mentioned that Novavax is also hosting some clinical trials to create a two-in-one vaccine; that would deliver immunization for both COVID and the flu at once.
Phase two of those trials is expected to launch by the end of 2022.