With holiday gatherings around the corner, it’s important to be up to date on your flu shot and COVID-19 vaccination. King County Public Health officials are noting that respiratory viral infections have increased both locally and nationally. October flu hospitalization rates were the highest reported at that time of the season in 10 years.
Getting your flu shot and COVID-19 updated booster now is important to protect you and your loved ones from infection before there are further increases in local respiratory viral activity. The flu can be serious for anyone – even young, healthy people. But it’s especially risky for younger children, older adults, pregnant people, and those with chronic medical conditions. Getting the annual flu vaccine can be lifesaving to vulnerable populations.
“We are already seeing increases of influenza activity early in the season and we are concerned about further increases as we head into the fall and winter months. While current local COVID-19 community levels are low, we anticipate increases in COVID-19 activity later in the fall and winter seasons.”Dr. Eric Chow, Chief of Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Immunizations for Public Health – Seattle & King County
Dr. Chow went on to say that “We remain concerned about local healthcare and hospital system capacity given the increases in respiratory viral infections. Taking preventive steps starting with vaccination can help protect you and your loved ones from infection-related complications, including hospitalization.”
How to get you flu and COVID-19 vaccinations
It is safe and effective to get the flu shot and the COVID-19 shot at the same time. You can get your influenza and COVID-19 vaccinations in the same visit if you are due for both vaccines. Bear in mind, COVID vaccines do not prevent the flu, and flu shots don’t prevent COVID – you need both for optimal protection.
COVID-19 boosters are free for anyone. Go to KingCounty.gov/vaccine to find a COVID vaccine near you.
Flu shots are free for employees and their family members covered under King County benefits. Go to this Balanced You page to learn more about getting your flu shot through your healthcare provider or a local pharmacy. You can also find a flu shot clinic near you on the Public Health page.
Learn more about the rise of multiple types of respiratory viruses and what we can do to stay safer on the Public Health Insider blog: Tri-demic? Time to increase protections against surging respiratory viruses.