Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the world, the 2021-2022 flu season is coming too. At Community Access Network, we want to provide you with all of the information and resources necessary to educate and protect yourself against these two diseases. Here’s the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccines and what we can expect from the 2021-2022 flu season.
Stay healthy, get vaccinated
Now that the new flu season is just about here, it’s even more important to do everything you can to protect yourself and your family against both COVID-19 and the flu. Even though these two diseases look similar in terms of symptoms (at least for mild cases of COVID-19), the flu and COVID-19 are two separate, distinct diseases. This means it’s possible to get both diseases simultaneously.
Because of the ongoing effects of COVID-19 and the fact that the flu season was mild last year (due to masking and stay-home orders), it’s entirely possible that the flu could be worse this year than in previous years. We offer both COVID-19 vaccines and flu vaccines at Community Access Network, so if you need either or both of them, come and see us!
Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Is FDA Approved
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently reached a milestone in the fight against COVID-19 by officially approving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for usage. It had previously been granted emergency authorization for disbursal because of how urgent the public need was. Now, after having undergone the FDA’s stringent drug testing procedures, it is confirmed to meet all standards of safety and effectiveness.
Officials hope that now that the Pfizer vaccine (now rebranded as the Comirnaty vaccine) has been fully vetted and approved by the FDA, more people will feel secure about getting it. It’s just as safe and effective as it was before, but the FDA’s seal of approval is continued confirmation that it works and will continue to work. It will continue to be developed, too, since it’s still not yet ready to be given to young children. The Moderna vaccine is also currently being vetted for full approval, and will likely finish processing in the near future.
How Does the COVID-19 Vaccine Work?
Both the Pfizer/Comirnaty and Moderna vaccines use mRNA technology. They introduce an inactive mRNA protein into the body’s cells that will allow the body to recognize and develop an immune response to the COVID-19 virus. While this technology is new to the public, it has been tested for decades on other diseases and proven to work.
The Delta Variant
It’s in the nature of a virus to mutate and spread unless fully contained, and COVID-19 has already done both several times over. It now has multiple variants that are affecting people all over the world. The one that is the most major threat to the United States right now is the Delta variant. According to the CDC, the Delta variant is:
- More contagious than the original virus
- More severe than the original virus
- Especially dangerous to people who are unvaccinated against the original virus
- Still capable of being spread through vaccinated people, though not as effectively
Hospitals are also reporting that they are increasingly seeing younger, healthier patients get severely sick from the Delta variant. This indicates that the Delta variant is far more dangerous and could affect more people than the original virus might have. However, individuals who are vaccinated will still have COVID-19 antibodies as an advantage and defense. Even if they do get sick, they will likely have milder symptoms and not be sick or contagious for as long.
Why Get Both the Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines?
As mentioned above, since influenza and COVID-19 are different diseases, it’s possible to get both. Additionally, having one can compromise the immune system enough to leave you vulnerable to the other (or to any other disease, for that matter).
Hospitals are continuing to fight COVID-19 valiantly, but this fight is taking up so much of their time and resources that the best thing people can do to help is to get vaccinated and stay healthy. Getting the flu vaccine along with the COVID-19 vaccine will further boost your immune system against both diseases and help you keep yourself and those around you safe.
Reaching herd immunity is the best way to contain the COVID-19 virus for good. It’s absolutely critical for those who are eligible to receive the vaccine.
Other Ways to Protect Yourself and Others
There are several other ways to practice prevention and continue making healthy choices. Things you can do to put this into action include:
- Washing your hands regularly with soap and water
- Drinking plenty of water
- Taking immune system-boosting supplements as needed
- Wearing a mask in public if you’re unvaccinated
- Practicing proper nutrition and staying physically active
- Staying home if you feel sick in any way
Even if you don’t get vaccinated or practice preventative measures for your own benefit, it’s still a good idea to do so on behalf of your fellow community members. Since both the flu and COVID-19 are highly contagious, it’s possible that if you’re not protected against it, you could transmit it to someone else who is more vulnerable than you, like children, the elderly, and immunocompromised people.
We’re Here to Help!
At Community Access Network, we’re prepared to help you protect yourself against this year’s flu season and the Delta variant. We can provide flu shots (which are free with most insurance plans), COVID-19 shots, education, and assistance with maintaining your overall health during this trying time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!