💉Updated COVID Booster Shot and Seasonal Flu shot is Sending People Up in Debate💉

Health Officials Urge the New COVID Booster and the Flu Shot


Becky Gao, Writer

   his is the third year of heading into winter alongside COVID. The question of whether COVID-19 is not anymore dangerous than the flu is occurring to people. As the flu season comes around people prepare their hearts for the cool months in all hopes of skipping hospital visits and case surges. 

Just a couple of days ago, the Food and Drug Administration has expanded for children as young as 5 to be eligible for the New COVID booster shot. The new COVID booster shot known as  Pfizer-BioNTech was announced by the FDA as early as the start of September. According to CDC data, an estimated 11.5 million people have already received the new boosters and it is said that more will decide to, before the holiday seasons. Dr. Ashish Jha, the head of the White House Covid task force claims that the new booster shots available in the U.S. should provide a much higher degree of protection against the variants because they all descend from omicron BA.2 or omicron BA.5.

Health care workers are urging people to get both the COVID booster and flu shot, expecting that this year’s flu season is going to be nastier than previous years. However there are still disagreeing views on the topic. Many of the precautions taken against Covid-19 that also assisted in containing the flu, have been relaxed as masks mandates lifts and people travel more. From a survey conducted by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, only 49% of adults in the United States are planning to get their flu shot. The reason for this may be because of a common misconception that getting vaccinated will give you the flu, making you sicker. However, the vaccines are designed so that the flu virus in them is deactivated or altered, and thus they cannot make you sick. Others may think that it’s an inconvenience and there is no need for it.  

There are also people questioning the vaccination of the new COVID booster. Many might argue that people today have enough immunity from vaccinations and infections preventing them from getting sick. However, the threat of COVID 19 is still ahead of us, not knowing when it will strike again. According to the CDC COVID is still killing more than 300 people on average and it is estimated that a nasty flu season could lead to the death of more than 50,000. Emily Martin, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health says that on average, flu vaccinations can help reduce the number of people who get sick by 40% to 60%.

I asked some of the teachers and staff in Winthrop High School about their decisions and opinions on the matter. Here are some of the responses. 

Ms. Colleen Irvine, an English teacher at Winthrop High School says that she already got her flu shot and has an appointment next week for the COVID booster. When asked if she thinks that people should get these vaccines she said “If you can, then yes! It helps lessen your likelihood of getting sick and giving it to someone else who may not be able to get the shot or handle the flu/COVID.”

Another teacher who I asked was Ms. Audra Irvine, a science teacher here at Winthrop High School. During class she told us that she had gotten both the flu and COVID booster at the same time. She says that “the question is a no-brainer. There is no room for people to debate. It is a responsibility. It’s a responsibility for every person to get vaccinated. It is science.”

To any people who have yet to decide whether or not to take either shots, the question of which to get first may pop up. You can get the flu shot and the COVID booster on the same day, consisting of one shot on either arm. In all said and done, everyone should stay safe for the upcoming holiday season.