SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A spike in flu cases across the country, along with another COVID-19 surge, is leaving more people vulnerable to catching some form of disease — especially those who aren’t vaccinated.
And although the flu is most common during the fall and winter, people remain susceptible to influenza year round, including in June.
Are flu cases up?
While the flu typically stops circulating around late April, the U.S. is “technically still in flu season” this year, said Dr. Natacsha Tuznik, associate professor of infectious diseases at UC Davis.
In fact, the flu is experiencing “increased activity” in some parts of the country, such as in Nevada and New Mexico, according to the Centers for Disease Control. There is no clear cut reason as to why this is the case, she said.
“In the last two weeks, it has started to slow down, but we are definitely seeing an extended length of influenza infections and later spikes than we have in the previous years,” Tuznik said.
People traveling internationally, she said, are especially susceptible to catching the flu. Tuznik strongly recommends patients with travel plans abroad to get a flu shot.
Can I get my COVID booster and flu shot at the same time?
An uptick in COVID-19 cases and increased eligibility for the booster shot has led some people to consider receiving additional doses. The FDA authorized a second booster in late March for adults 50 or older and immunocompromised individuals ages 12 and over, and the Pfizer booster in May for healthy children ages 5 to 11.
It is “absolutely okay” for people to get their flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine or booster at the same time.