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COVID-19, flu and vaccines – Fall 2022 Update

COVID, flu and you: Good news first!

COVID-19 cases are finally decreasing. National trends are headed the right direction, and positivity rates in North Carolina are going down. Omicron BA.5 remains at 87.5% of the cases in the United States.

 A new vaccine is available that fights Omicron and the original strain of COVID-19.

In early September, new bivalent Omicron vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer were approved by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for emergency use authorization. This vaccine specifically targets the BA.4 and BA.5 variants of Omicron and the original strain of COVID-19.

These are approved for all individuals ages 12 and older, AT LEAST two months after the last booster.

 Tryon is NOT testing for COVID-19 or administering vaccines at this time.

To find vaccine providers, vaccines.gov is a great resource. In North Carolina, visit myspot.nc.gov or call 888-675-4567 to find a vaccine provider near you. In South Carolina visit vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov to find a vaccine provider near you.

The 2022 flu season is expected to be bad news.

A troubling preview shows that Australia’s flu season (starting in April of 2022) has been significant with a rise in both flu and COVID cases, and an early, high peak in flu season.

Woman coughs and uses and tissue

The past two flu seasons have been milder than usual, with low numbers of cases and few hospitalizations and deaths. Experts attribute the decline to COVID-19 precautions such as wearing face masks and social distancing. People were also traveling less during the height of the pandemic. The only way to lessen the impacts of the flu is to get a flu shot.

For more information, visit the CDC’s flu FAQs.

REMEMBER: You can get your COVID booster and flu shot at the same time.

According to the CDC:

You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same visit. Experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection and possible side effects after getting vaccinated are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines.

What ever happened to monkeypox?

Monkeypox cases are thankfully on the decline. Vaccines and testing are available at Mecklenburg County Health Department.