It's going to be a complicated fall for Covid and flu vaccinations - STAT - STAT

It's going to be a complicated fall for Covid and flu vaccinations - STAT - STAT

It's going to be a complicated fall for Covid and flu vaccinations - STAT - STAT
Aug 16, 2022 2 mins, 12 secs

plan to roll out updated Covid-19 boosters will not only coincide with the logistical tangle of the regular flu shot drive, but will also face questions about when people should get the new shots to provide themselves with the best protection through our third Covid winter.

Stinchfield said people should generally receive their flu shots by Halloween.

“There’s a potential tradeoff between giving the vaccine too early versus missing opportunities to vaccinate people who then never get the vaccine at all,” Belongia said.

Running the two vaccine campaigns simultaneously could also stretch clinics and public health departments even further, though there is the advantage of people being able to get both their Covid booster and flu shot at one time if they choose to do so.

Health officials typically pick which strains will go into that season’s shot early in the year, giving manufacturers months to mass produce the vaccine?

With the updated Covid shots, it seems to be even more of a sprint.

And throwing Covid boosters into the mix, it just makes it more complicated.”

Hannan said there wasn’t guidance yet from the federal government about how much of and when exactly the new Covid shots will be available

She also noted that public health departments are also fighting an unprecedented monkeypox outbreak, complete with a convoluted vaccine delivery process

While the Biden administration hasn’t yet laid out its vision for the Covid booster campaign, it’s expected that it will be similar to when the original Covid boosters were authorized last fall, with more reliance on pharmacies and doctors’ offices and less on mass vaccination sites

And in many ways, the sites are well practiced for another go-round with another Covid shot: they’ve dealt with different shots from different manufacturers, different booster doses, kids’ shots, and, already, extra boosters for older adults and people with certain health issues

One wrinkle, however, is that the updated shots are expected to be authorized only as boosters, whereas the primary series of shots will still use the original formulation

Tinglong Dai, a health care operations expert at Johns Hopkins University, said that hospitals and clinics should be able to handle delivering the updated boosters

Only about half those eligible for a first booster have received one, and people may wonder why they need an updated shot

Dai also said that the campaign needs to ensure easy access to both Covid and flu shots no matter where people live

— Belongia said people shouldn’t try to time when they get their boosters to try to make sure their protection is maximized through whatever surge might come

Instead, people should just get the Covid shots when they can

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