CLEARFIELD, Pa. – With flu season descending upon the United States, while COVID-19 still looms, medical professionals at the Susquehanna Wellness Clinic (SWC) advise that getting a flu shot may be more important this year than ever.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the past two flu seasons were milder than normal, which experts attribute to wide-spread COVID precautions such as wearing masks and social distancing. Because so few people were infected with influenza over the last two years compared to years past, immunity to infection is lower than usual in most individuals, leaving them more susceptible now that they are back in the office, going to social gatherings, and not wearing masks.
What’s more, it is also possible to get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, and a recent study published in The Lancet found that adults who have a dual flu-COVID infection are at greater risk of severe disease and death than patients who have COVID-19 alone or with other viruses. For that reason, the CDC urges staying up to date with vaccinations for both.
“As long as you meet the requirements related to time-frame, such as how long it’s been since you had a previous shot, or had an active COVID infection, you can see us for either your flu shot or COVID shots,” said Susquehanna Wellness Clinic Practice Manager Megan Patrick. “We have in stock both the Moderna vaccine bivalent booster, and the Flucelvax Quadrivalent flu vaccine.”
The bivalent COVID booster differs from the original in that it is designed to protect against two strains of the COVID virus, providing greater protection against variants. Moderna designed the new formula to target both the Beta variant and the original variant. The flu vaccine offered at the SWC protects against multiple strains of Type A and B flu.
Though the CDC has released messages indicating that COVID and flu shots can be administered in the same visit, staff at SWC recommend spreading the shots out, as they’re looking out for their patients’ good health.
“Although, the CDC has said that they may be given at the same time, our physicians are recommending administration at different times. If the shots are given at the same time and a reaction should occur, we would not know what caused the reaction. So, we will not be giving them together here at SWC,” Patrick explained. “But we’ll be happy to see you for another visit and get you fully vaccinated.”
Opening in Frenchville in 2020, and at a second location in the former PennDOT building on Daisy Street in Clearfield in 2022, the SWC’s mission is to provide patient-focused care for adults aged 18 and older with an emphasis on providing quality and meaningful care. The comprehensive approach provides chronic care management, telehealth and telemedicine services, as well as onsite health and wellness programs. Other services include in-home services to patients physically unable to come into the clinic, and remote visits to senior centers and high rises. Same-day appointments are also available. Additionally, SWC participates in most managed care plans, processes most insurances, and is able to accept credit card and cash payments.
The clinic is still accepting new patients.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call the clinic at 814-765-2695 for both locations.
For more information on the Susquehanna Wellness Clinic, visit https://www.mrswc.life/