Search
Close this search box.

Health Department Encourages Pennsylvanians to Get Flu Vaccine and COVID-19 Booster

Department of Health Acting Secretary and Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson today joined public health officials from Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health to encourage residents to get their flu shot and COVID-19 vaccination boosters as we enter the 2022-2023 flu season.

“This flu season has the potential to be severe, so we are encouraging Pennsylvanians to get their flu shot and COVID-19 booster together to keep our communities safe,” said Dr. Johnson.
“Influenza is serious and can be deadly, which is why it is important that Pennsylvanians receive their flu vaccine. The flu shot is the best way to protect yourself against influenza, but I also encourage people to take other preventive measures to protect themselves from the spread of influenza. This is also an opportunity to continue the work of mitigating COVID-19 by receiving the new COVID-19 vaccine.”

Shot and nasal spray are available for flu

This year, both the flu shot and nasal spray are available and recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older to protect against the flu. The flu vaccine can often diminish the severity of symptoms a person might experience should they come down with the flu. The updated COVID-19 bivalent boosters are also available to provide protection against the original virus strain as well as the Omicron variant (and its subvariants BA.4 and BA.5).

“The flu shot and COVID-19 bivalent booster are both available by visiting your doctor’s office, pharmacy, grocery store, local walk-in clinic or state health center  by appointment,” said Dr. Johnson. The vaccination process is quick, easy and helps protect yourself and anyone you may encounter this flu season, which is just beginning. We recommend getting vaccinated before the end of October.”

Symptoms

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness, caused by the influenza virus. It attacks the nose, throat, and lungs and may include the following symptoms:

  • fever
  • headache
  • tiredness
  • dry cough
  • sore throat
  • nasal congestion
  • body aches

    Similarly, COVID-19 symptoms could include:
  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • diarrhea
  • chills
  • repeated shaking with chills
  • muscle pain
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • new loss of taste or smell

    Since the flu and COVID-19 are comparable, it may be hard to tell the difference between the viruses based on symptoms alone, and so testing is needed to help confirm a diagnosis. It takes about two weeks for the antibodies from the vaccine to develop protection against infection. This small but powerful action will protect your family, friends and frontline health care workers who will be caring for sick people with respiratory illnesses this fall and winter.

    Both vaccines reduce the risk of illness, hospitalization and death, and it is important to get both vaccines to protect yourself against both viruses. The CDC reported that it is safe to get the flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time.

    In addition to getting vaccinated, Pennsylvanians are encouraged to practice preventive healthy habits like using your elbow to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, frequently washing your hands during flu season, and remembering to disinfect commonly touched objects, such as doorknobs, light switches, countertops, cell phones, and computers.

    If you do become sick with the flu, it is important to stay home and rest. If you are at risk for developing serious complications from the flu, or feel extremely ill, you should see a medical professional immediately.

    Additional information on how to stay healthy and prevent the flu and COVID-19 can be found on the Department of Health’s website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

    MEDIA CONTACT:  Mark O’Neill, ra-dhpressoffice@pa.gov
Comments

Samuel R Welsh 1945-2024

Samuel was an avid sportsman all his life and enjoyed both playing sports and watching them on the television. He enjoyed playing golf.

Betty Marie Miller 1937-2024

Betty worked for 36 years in the Alumni office of The Mercersburg Academy. She enjoyed travel, knitting, and spending time with family and friends.

M Marie Trostle 1919-2024

She enjoyed sewing, baking, cooking, babysitting and crocheting. She especially enjoyed quilting, where she made over 40 quilts and gave them to her family.

John Harvey Hoffman 1941-2024

John enjoyed target shooting, fishing and was known for telling great stories. He was also very proud of his family and enjoyed spending as much time with them as possible.

Unlock Your Website's Full Potential

LaunchUX, based in Chambersburg, is an award-winning web development and SEO agency. If you are ready to launch a new website or rank higher in Google, experience the difference with LaunchUX.

Your ad could be here! Email rick@fcfreepress.com

Who We Are

The Franklin County Free Press, established by Vicky Taylor in 2019, emerged as a beacon of local journalism for the residents of Franklin County. Under Vicky's leadership, it quickly became an essential source of news, particularly at a time when major newspaper publications were increasingly overlooking local coverage.

On January 1, 2022, the torch was passed to Nathan Neil and his firm, Neil Publishing, LLC. Neil, a local entrepreneur with multiple thriving businesses in Chambersburg, shares Vicky's fervent commitment to both the community and the world of local journalism.

Rooted in the heart of Franklin County and powered by its residents, the Franklin County Free Press continues to bridge the gap, ensuring that the local stories, events, and issues that matter most to the community remain in the spotlight.