Yes; influenza and COVID-19 are two entirely different viruses. Both can make you equally sick. In 1919, the world dealt with the flu, and with distancing and vaccinations, we’ve more or less subdued its far reaching effects. History repeats itself.

What are all the shots I should get when I turn 65?

  1. PPSV23, better known as Pneumovax. You should receive this vaccine earlier than 65 if you have:
  • chronic heart disease (excluding hypertension)
  • chronic liver disease (alcoholic cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis B or C, NASH)
  • chronic lung disease (COPD, emphysema)
  • diabetes mellitus (Types 1 & 2)
  • cigarette smoking
  • immunodeficiency disorders
  • HIV
  • you’ve had your spleen removed
  • chronic kidney disease
  • cerebral spinal fluid leak
  • cochlear implant

2. Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) booster every 10 years

3. Shingles, 2 vaccines, once.

What should I get annually?

The flu vaccine is the only one recommended by the CDC annually. Common complaints post-injection include arm soreness, fatigue, perhaps even a low grade fever. Don’t let this deter you! By far, these mild symptoms are much better than getting the actual flu itself, which could knock you out for weeks, or worse.

Talk with your doctor about vaccines; not all may be recommended for you, depending on your disease history, and many might be recommended earlier.

Danielle Kelvas, MD

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Should I get the FLU shot during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

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