YORK, Pa. — With fall fast approaching, it’s time to prepare for flu season.
Providers are starting to offer the annual updated influenza vaccine. WellSpan Health will offer the vaccine in all its vaccination locations starting Sept. 6.
This year’s flu shot is quadrivalent, meaning it offers protection from four strains of the virus. There are three versions of a special high dose shot recommended for people 65 and older.
The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine, including pregnant women.
During last year’s flu season, 14,000 people died of the flu in the U.S.; public health experts considered the season to be relatively mild, however. Based on current trends in the Southern Hemisphere, where flu season happens in the summer, this year’s flu season in the Northern Hemisphere is expected to be more severe.
A major concern for public health experts is that a rise in vaccine hesitancy during the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to fewer people getting routine vaccinations like the annual flu shot.
A local doctor emphasized the proven safety of vaccines while speaking with FOX43.
“We’ve been using vaccines for several hundred years to prevent illness," Dr. Mark Goedecker, vice president of WellSpan Health said. "It started way back with smallpox. The reason we are where we are as a society is that vaccines have really prolonged life and prevented people from dying from really bad diseases, including flu and COVID. So it’s real important for people to remember that.”
Those who need both the flu vaccine and the updated COVID booster can save a trip; the CDC said it is safe to get both at the same time.