Maryland Department of Health Urges Marylanders to Get Annual Flu Shot and COVID Booster

October 18, 2022

Media contact:

Chase Cook, Acting Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-8649

Maryland Department of Health Urges Marylanders to Get Annual Flu Shot and COVID Booster

The first three laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza for the 2022-2023 season have been identified.

Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today urged Marylanders to get their annual flu shots, as well as their COVID-19 booster shots. Since the start of the official flu season this fall, MDH has identified three laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza.

“Flu season is now underway in Maryland, and getting your flu shot today is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “Bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines are also now available, and I encourage every eligible Marylander to get a COVID booster shot. In fact, you can safely get both a flu shot and a COVID-19 booster at the same time.”

Secretary Schrader received his bivalent COVID-19 booster and flu shot
by Yaritza Velez in September at CVS Pharmacy in Laurel.

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that spreads through coughing or sneezing and through contact with infected people or contaminated surfaces and objects. Common symptoms include high fever, body aches, fatigue, cough and sore throat. Symptoms usually begin one to four days after exposure.

Symptoms of flu, COVID-19, and other respiratory illnesses can be similar, and people can be infected with both flu and COVID-19 at the same time. The examination is necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

The flu shot is recommended for all Maryland residents six months of age and older. Although most cases of the flu are mild and most people recover with few or no complications, the flu can pose a serious risk to children younger than 5, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with underlying medical conditions or compromised immune systems. It is especially important to vaccinate people at high risk of flu-related complications.

All eligible Marylanders age 5 and older are encouraged to receive the primary series and booster vaccine against COVID-19. Marylanders can schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment by visiting covidvax.maryland.gov or by calling the GoVAX Call Center at 1-855-MD-GOVAX. Some places may offer both flu and COVID shots at the same visit.

If you think you have the flu:

  • Contact your healthcare provider to discuss testing and managing symptoms or complications

  • Stay home from work or school to avoid spreading the disease

  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough

  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers and wash your hands frequently

Influenza surveillance data are reported weekly throughout the annual influenza season, from the first week of October to the second week of May. For the 2022-2023 flu season, MDH has identified three laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza subtyped as influenza A (H3). This year’s flu vaccine covers both influenza A and B.

To view the Maryland Influenza Surveillance Dashboard, visit health.maryland.gov/flu-dashboard. The scoreboard is updated weekly on Friday evenings. For more information on the state’s influenza surveillance activity, visit MDH fluwatch webpage.

For information about the flu and the benefits of vaccination visit MDH or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Additional resources:

###

The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and community engagement.

Follow us at http://www.twitter.com/MDHealthDept and in Facebook.com/MDHealthDept.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *