While the COVID-19 vaccine is making headlines – and with good reason – it is important to remember that this isn’t the only vaccine the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend. We are currently in the middle of the 2020-2021 flu season, and the CDC has stated that getting the flu vaccine is “more important than ever” during the pandemic.
To help health care providers and patients stay safe, the CDC has published guidance specific to getting the annual flu shot while also mitigating against the risk of COVID-19 exposure. Here, vaccine lawyer Leah V. Durant provides an overview of some of the key messages from the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Routine and Influenza Immunization Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic:
1. Everyone Who Can Safely Get a Flu Shot Should Do So
According to the CDC, “[f]or the 2020-2021 influenza season, influenza vaccination will be paramount to reduce the impact of respiratory illnesses attributed to influenza in the population and resulting burdens on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic.” In other words, if it is safe for you to get the flu shot, the CDC recommends that you do so to protect not only yourself but also those around you.
2. Any Due or Overdue Vaccines Should Be Administered with the Flu Shot
Recognizing that many people have delayed vaccinations and other routine health care services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC is advising that “[a]ll vaccines due or overdue should be administered according to the recommended CDC immunization schedules,” during a flu shot visit, “unless a specific contraindication exists.”
3. If Possible, Flu Shots Should Be Administered in the “Medical Home”
The CDC indicates that “[v]accination in the medical home is ideal to ensure that patients receive other preventive services that may have been deferred during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The “medical home” refers to a primary care model that “provides patient-centered, comprehensive, accessible, and coordinated care and a systems-based approach to quality and safety.” If vaccination in the medical home is not possible or practical, then flu shots should be administered as necessary to ensure sufficient access to immunization.
4. The CDC Provides Differing Recommendations Based Upon a Person’s COVID-19 Exposure or Diagnosis
While the CDC is generally recommending vaccination against influenza during the COVID-19 pandemic, it recommends against vaccination of individuals who have symptomatic COVID-19 in some circumstances. Specifically, the CDC advises that individuals “[s]hould consider deferring (postponing) vaccination for at least 10 days after symptom onset AND 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications AND COVID-19 symptoms are improving AND no longer moderately or severely ill. [Individuals should also [c]onsider further deferring vaccination until fully recovered from acute illness.”
As always, if you have any questions about the flu shot or any concerns about your health, you should consult with your doctor before getting vaccinated.
Contact National Vaccine Lawyer Leah V. Durant
Leah V. Durant is a national vaccine lawyer who represents individuals diagnosed with flu shot injuries and illnesses. If you or a family member has been diagnosed, you can call 202-800-1711 or contact our firm online to schedule a free initial consultation with Ms. Durant.
Leah Durant Bio
Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.