Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the influenza (flu) season has been hard to predict; however, experts expect this flu season to start early again, like last year. Typically, the height of flu season occurs between December and February, the coldest months.
In addition to the flu, COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases are expected to surge this winter, as well. However, unlike last year, vaccines for all three will become available during the fall. Both the flu and COVID-19 shots can be received simultaneously. As the RSV vaccines is so new, there is not enough information to confirm that the RSV vaccine should be administered with the flu and COVID-19 shots.
With the anticipated early onset, CDC officials recommend getting vaccinated by the end of October to reduce the risk of hospitalization. Nine flu vaccines are available, and all are quadrivalent, guarding against four virus subtypes. The CDC recommends:
- Everyone between the ages of 6 months to 65 years should receive the flu vaccine.
- A higher-dose flu vaccine for individuals over the age of 65.
- Obtaining the vaccine between September and October to protect against the flu.
With flu season quickly approaching, experts indicate that the best way to reduce illness is by vaccinating, washing hands, and reducing contact with contagious individuals.