The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LAC DPH) issued a health update on October 20, 2022. This advisory shares important information about fall influenza and COVID-19 vaccines.
- LA County influenza surveillance shows much higher activity compared to this time of year pre-pandemic. In previous years, an early start to the season was associated with a season with substantially higher influenza activity.
- Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for people ages 6 months and older, with higher dose or adjuvanted vaccine preferred for adults ≥65 years.
- One bivalent mRNA COVID-19 booster dose is recommended for people ages 5 years of age and older at least 2 months after their last monovalent booster or primary series COVID-19 vaccine dose. A Novavax monovalent COVID-19 vaccine may now be used in limited situations as a first booster (instead of a bivalent mRNA booster dose) in people ages 18 and older.
- Giving multiple vaccines at the same visit increases the chance that a person will be up to date with their vaccinations. Coadministration of influenza and COVID-19 vaccines is strongly recommended to help ensure that people, especially older adults and others at increased risk of complications from both viruses, are better protected.
- Older adults are at high risk of serious illness from both flu and COVID-19 and experience greater disease severity with flu/COVID-19 coinfection. In LA County to date, only 13% of eligible people ages ≥65 have received their recommended bivalent COVID-19 booster dose. Healthcare providers should urge patients aged 65 years and older at every healthcare encounter to get both their influenza vaccine and their updated fall COVID-19 booster as soon as possible.