Given that the most recent flu season in Australia, which resulted in 300 fatalities and 1,700 hospitalizations, may be severe in the United States, doctors are concerned.
Kencee Graves, chief medical officer for inpatient health at University of Utah Health and an associate professor of internal medicine, pointed out that there haven't been any flu epidemics in Utah in the previous two years.
This year, the number of severe flu infections in Australia—the country the United States looks to for guidance on what the states could experience—rose significantly. No influenza-related fatalities and a small number of hospitalizations were reported in 2021. Graves noted a fivefold rise in major cases and fatalities this season across the nation.
As a result, it is crucial to receive the flu shot this year. The coronavirus is still present in the neighbourhood, but at a lower level than before. According to Graves, the flu vaccine "is relatively reliable year to year." The vaccination does change year depending on the type of flu that is going around, but the time "is always precisely the same."
Before Halloween, in September or October, doctors advise getting the flu shot. According to Graves, the flu season starts in October and lasts until March.
According to Graves, it is OK to receive both the COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time. But it could be a good idea to have the flu and COVID-19 vaccinations at different periods if a person has previously experienced a severe vaccine reaction.
The first series of the vaccine confers protection against COVID-19, and subsequent booster shots build on that immunity.
But she said that other varieties have spread over the world in waves throughout time and that vaccinations don't work as effectively against them. She said that they do offer protection against fatal diseases. However, the new bivalent booster targets both the present-day variations and the ancestor strain.