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Let's Talk Flu Shots & Covid-19 Boosters

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We have been getting many questions on when can or should I get my Flu shot or Covid-19 booster. We hope this information will help answer some of those questions. TAKE HOME MESSAGE: PROTECT YOURSELF & YOUR LOVED ONES! Schedule your vaccines today! ~ Dr. C & Domelaine, RN



  1. Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu; flu vaccines can reduce the risk of getting the Flu by 40%-60%

  2. Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick

  3. Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization

  4. Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with certain chronic health conditions

  5. Flu vaccination during pregnancy helps protect pregnant people from flu during and after pregnancy and helps protect their infants from flu in their first few months of life

  6. Flu vaccine can be lifesaving in children

  7. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness


With all the above facts and the inconvenience of missing work and just being sick, we encourage all who are eligible to get the Flu vaccine. In recent years, CDC has not recommended any one flu vaccine over another for any age group, and there is still no preferential recommendation for people younger than 65. People 65 and older should try to get one of the three preferentially recommended vaccines, however, if one of these vaccines is not available at the time of administration, people in this age group should get a standard-dose flu vaccine instead Dr. Concepcion agrees with the ACIP and the decision to preferentially recommend the use of higher dose flu or adjuvanted flu vaccines over standard-dose unadjuvanted flu vaccines for people 65 years and older. This recommendation was based on a review of available studies which suggests that, in this age group, these vaccines are potentially more effective than standard dose unadjuvanted flu vaccines.


If you have individual questions, reach out to your primary care physician or provider. If you're a Member of Big Trees MD, message Dr. C directly.


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Tracking The Flu: A weekly influenza surveillance report is prepared by the Influenza Division from the CDC and is updated based on clinical laboratories all over the Nation.



Covid-19 FACTS:

COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and dying. As with other vaccine-preventable diseases, Dr. Concepcion strongly agrees with the CDC in the fact that you are protected best from COVID-19 when you stay up to date with the recommended vaccinations, including recommended boosters. The benefits of receiving a primary COVID-19 vaccination series with authorized or approved vaccines are clear. Outcomes of COVID-19 among persons who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are significantly worse than those among persons who have received at least a primary vaccination series; in April 2022, among persons aged ≥5 years, unvaccinated persons had SIX TIMES the risk of dying from COVID-19 compared with those who had received a primary COVID-19 vaccination series.

  1. Updated (bivalent) boosters became available for people ages 12 and older over Labor Day weekend 2022 (see below for further recs)

  2. CDC recommends everyone stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines for their age group: Children and teens ages 6 months–17 years Adults ages 18 years and older

  3. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you recover from COVID-19infection provides added protection against COVID-19

  4. If you recently had COVID-19, you may consider delaying your next vaccine dose (primary dose or booster) by 3 months from when your symptoms started or, if you had no symptoms, when you first received a positive test

  5. People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised have different recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters

  6. COVID-19 vaccine and booster recommendations may be updated as CDC continues to monitor the latest COVID-19 data

Four COVID-19 vaccines are approved or authorized in the United States:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech

  • Moderna

  • Novavax

  • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) (However, CDC recommends that the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine only be considered in certain situations, due to safety concerns.)

Updated (Bivalent) Boosters The virus that causes COVID-19 has changed over time. The different versions of the virus that have developed over time are called variants. Two COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer and Moderna, have developed updated (bivalent) COVID-19 boosters. The updated (bivalent) boosters are called “bivalent” because they protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5. Previous boosters are called “monovalent” because they were designed to protect against the original virus that causes COVID-19. They also provide some protection against Omicron, but not as much as the updated (bivalent) boosters. Updated Bivalent Boosters Are Recommended for Some People CDC recommends that people ages 12 years and older receive one updated (bivalent) booster if it has been at least 2 months since their last COVID-19 vaccine dose, whether that was:

  • Their final primary series dose, or an original (monovalent) booster

  • People who have had more than one original (monovalent) booster are also recommended to get an updated (bivalent) booster.

What about Novavax? The benefits of Novavax COVID-19 vaccine in the context of currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants is unknown because VE was assessed during the period of Alpha predominance. Direct evidence of efficacy against the Omicron variant or any of its sublineages is not yet available. If you have had concerns about an mRNA vaccine or booster, getting the Novavax vaccine is an option for future vaccination. If you have individual questions, reach out to your primary care physician or provider. If you're a Member of Big Trees MD, message Dr. C directly.



Tracking Covid-19


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Ok, so what happens after the shots?

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A vaccine is a tool like a guidebook your immune system uses to learn from so it can mount a more effective response to a particular insult like Influenza or Covid-19. When your immune system is learning how to fight off insults like Flu or Covid-19, your immune system can respond in certain ways like headache, fever aches. Vaccine side effects are temporary, effective at reducing the damage Flu and Covid can do sans vaccine, and can range from aches to fever to absolutely nothing. A pro tip from Dr. C: prepare to get symptoms. Dr. C purposefully schedules an easy schedule the day after vaccines to allow for a backup plan if she is tired.



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