According to the CDC, flu season runs rampant from October through May.1 Looking to keep the people you serve safe during the 2023-2024 flu season? Keep these three trends on your radar.
Flu season starting earlier this year
According to the CDC, last year’s flu season began spiking as early as October2, with the major uptick happening in late November and early December. It’s difficult to forecast when positivity rates will peak this flu season, but positive cases have already been reported in the southern United States, and the southern hemisphere is already seeing an upward trend in Influenza-like illness.2 To help combat the spike in illness, the CDC recommends administering flu vaccines as early as October.3
Flu strains for 2024
Each year, different or new strains of influenza appear throughout the flu season, creating the need for new vaccines to be created and administered. One strain projected for this year is called the H3N2 influenza A virus. It’s a common influenza A virus that has circulated for years. In some areas, the H1N1 influenza strain has come back into circulation. The influenza B strain is also common toward the end of each flu season, in February, March and April, and it usually causes a less severe infection.4 The flu virus is constantly evolving into various strains, which makes it imperative that people receive the new vaccine to accommodate for the new strains.
Flu immunization disparities and health equity
The CDC defines health equity as the state in which everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their highest level of health.5 Medically underserved communities experience unique barriers to care and may face an increased risk of serious illness from viruses such as the flu. Genoa Healthcare pharmacies, in partnership with community mental health centers, are uniquely positioned to help vaccinate this community. Genoa provides free flu shots to all consumers, even if they don’t have insurance.
Genoa Healthcare provided over 64,000 flu shots during the 2022-2023 flu season and plans to administer 75,000 this flu season to keep our consumers as safe as possible. Please contact us for information on how Genoa can support your clinic this flu season.