Preparing for flu season and getting boosted

Cold and flu season are upon Louisiana, but staying up to date on all shot like COVID-19 is essential, according to doctors.
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 11:13 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2022 at 5:48 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Cold and flu season are upon Louisiana, but staying up to date on all shot like COVID-19 is essential, according to doctors.

Doctors say if you don’t want to get sick, the best thing to do is get vaccinated. Governor John Bel Edwards and state health leaders with LDH rolled up their sleeves to get COVID booster and flu shots.

“We’ve said this before, but it’s been a while since we’ve talked about COVID. It is no longer about being fully vaccinated, it’s all about being up to date and you are not up to date if you’ve had only your two shots,” says Edwards.

Doctors typically recommend folks to get their flu shot around the end of September or October, but they are also pushing for folks to get the COVID booster too.

“Well, both COVID and flu are respiratory viruses. So, they are going to attack your respiratory system, primarily upper respiratory, your nasal passages, your throat and then lower respiratory being lungs, your bronchial tubes, etc.,” explains Dr. Brad Gaspard who practices family medicine at Baton Rouge General.

Gaspard says, they’ll most likely test people for both COVID and flu if they come in with a respiratory illness. He recommends getting both shots, since the strains have changed since last year.

“It’s actually the first update we’ve had of the COVID vaccine. So up until now, all of the boosters we have been given are based on the original versions of COVID. So, we finally have a vaccine that is tailored toward what we are seeing currently,” adds Gaspard.

Baton Rouge General and Our Lady of the Lake are getting shipments in this week for the flu shot and covid-19 vaccines. Doctors say, it’s safe to get both shots at the same time.

“It seems COVID is, unfortunately, not going anywhere. So, for the time being it’s kind of like what we’ve being doing with the flu for years, now. Just every year, the flu vaccine gets a little bit revamped based on what they predicted that year’s flu would be like,” explains Dr. Sandra Guerguis who is a pediatrician at OLOL.

Guerguis reminds patients when it comes to vaccines, talking to the kid’s doctor about the right dosage is important.

“There are slightly different dosages for kids. So, pediatricians, you know, who stock that vaccine or the clinics that stock that vaccine, you want to make sure,” adds Guerguis.

There are still people fighting COVID from a hospital bed. As of today, LDH reports more than 300 people are being treated in the hospital across the state. Sadly, eight people have died in the last 24 hours.

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