November 2, 2022
Chase Cook, Acting Director of Communications, 410-767-3536
MDH recommends Marylanders get COVID bivalent booster and flu shots (“Flooster”) for best protection by Thanksgiving
All Marylanders 5+ now eligible for updated COVID bivalent booster if they have not received one or had last COVID shot at least two months ago
Baltimore, MD – With flu and respiratory illness hospitalizations increasing earlier and faster than in previous years in the state and across the country, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has created a new “Flooster” campaign to urge Marylanders to get their flu shot and their COVID bivalent booster shot at the same time in order to maximize their protection and celebrate the upcoming holidays as safely as possible.
State officials continue to monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Weekly Influenza Summary, which currently has Maryland’s flu status as High.
All Marylanders 5 and older are now eligible for the COVID bivalent booster if they have not received one yet or if it has been at least two months since they completed a primary COVID vaccine series or monovalent booster.
“Marylanders, especially children, are contracting and spreading respiratory viruses much earlier than in previous years and getting both a flu shot and COVID bivalent booster shot will further protect them,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader, who got both shots at the same time in September. “Since it takes several weeks for immunities to build after any vaccination or booster, this week is the best time to get the bivalent booster and the flu shot to be fully protected by Thanksgiving.”
To emphasize this important message, MDH launched a multimedia public awareness campaign this week that will run on television, radio, digital displays, and social media. The ads feature Dr. Howard Haft, MDH senior medical advisor, who strongly advises Marylanders to get their “Flooster” (flu shot and COVID booster shot) for the best protection against COVID and the flu.
More than 780,000 Marylanders have received their COVID bivalent booster dose since it became available in Maryland on September 2.
The CDC and MDH both stress that getting both flu and COVID shots at the same visit is safe and convenient. Both vaccines are available at more than 600 locations across the state, including pharmacies, grocery stores, and local health departments.
To find a vaccination site near you, visit covidVAX.maryland.gov or call 1-855-MD-GOVAX (855-634-6829). For more information about COVID-19 in Maryland visit covidLINK.maryland.gov. To find out more COVID-19 data, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov.
The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and community engagement.
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