Vaccine News & Notes — November 2020

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Tracking flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes a weekly report that shows levels of influenza throughout the U.S. on its dedicated webpage, While influenza activity currently remains low in the U.S., it’s critical to get a flu vaccine this season. Because SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is likely to still be spreading during flu season, a few concerns and unknowns exist:

  1. It will be more difficult to tell which infection someone has without testing. Likewise, it will be possible to get infected with both viruses.
  2. Scientists are not sure whether infection with one of these viruses will increase susceptibility to or complicate infection with the other. This is something that will be studied throughout the winter and spring.
  3. Already stretched medical resources, including healthcare providers, may make it more difficult for people to get appointments, or even hospital beds, if needed.

While one or more COVID-19 vaccines may become available during influenza season, it is unlikely that most of the population will have access to these vaccines until later in 2021. Therefore, everyone should take advantage of influenza vaccines, which have been proven to be safe and effective. Everyone 6 months of age and older is recommended to be vaccinated.

Check out “Coronavirus, Influenza … Feel More in Control This Fall” for more information about what is expected this fall.

CDC’s flu campaign and infographic

The CDC is asking you to help #FightFlu by reminding your social media networks about the importance of getting the flu vaccine this fall. CDC’s roll your #SleeveUp to #FightFlu social media toolkit includes everything you need to encourage members of your social networks to protect themselves.

Learn more about the campaign.

The CDC also offers an infographic, “Take 3 Actions to Fight Flu,”  that can be shared online.

Beware of fraudulent coronavirus tests, vaccines and treatments

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers against fraudulent products that claim to cure, treat or prevent COVID-19. Currently, the only FDA-approved treatment is Remdesivir. The FDA is also warning against fraudulent COVID-19 test kits being sold online and is urging consumers to speak with their healthcare providers if they think they need to be tested.

To date, the FDA has issued warning letters to more than 100 firms for selling fraudulent products. The list can be found on the FDA’s webpage, “Fraudulent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Products.”

You can help! If you suspect a website is involved in the unlawful sale of medical products, report it to the FDA.

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.