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Albert Lea Tribune: Public Health Director Shares Vaccination Recommendations for Upcoming Season


Sep 9, 2023

Fall is approaching, which means flu and COVID seasons are on their way. Sue Yost, the Freeborn County public health director, recommended that anyone who received a COVID vaccine should also get a booster shot for the upcoming year. The duration of protection from the COVID vaccine is uncertain due to the changing variants. The FDA was set to consider the new year’s booster shot, and once approved, vaccines would be available for providers to order. Local pharmacies and health clinics are also expected to have the shots available. Yost mentioned that there may be a charge for insurance companies as the federal government will no longer be purchasing vaccines. Those without insurance or with limited coverage should still be able to receive shots from Freeborn County Public Health.

Yost also advised treating the COVID vaccine like a flu shot by getting it in the fall, as it should remain effective throughout the year. For the upcoming flu season, Yost explained that the flu shot typically includes four different types of flus chosen based on previous seasons and prevalence in the southern hemisphere. The effectiveness of the flu vaccine can vary each year, making it difficult to predict the severity of the upcoming flu season. The proliferation of flus also depends on the number of people getting vaccinated. Yost emphasized the importance of taking preventive measures such as handwashing, social distancing, staying home when sick, and wearing masks, especially for those with respiratory infections. Testing is necessary to distinguish between flu and COVID since there are differences in symptoms. This year’s flu vaccine will be more specific to newer variants, as last year’s booster may no longer be effective. The CDC recommends getting an influenza shot in October for protection lasting through May. Yost also noted an increase in COVID cases within Freeborn County.

By Editor

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