Dear A-T Families,
We wanted to share with you some expert advice we have been given about the vaccinations that our families should receive.
The flu season is coming, and now is the time to get the flu vaccine. Dr. Howard Lederman, a respected immunologist and the Director of the A-T Clinical Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland recommends that all people with A-T receive the injected (killed) influenza (flu) vaccine every fall. Other members of the household should also be vaccinated to decrease the chances of bringing influenza into the home environment. Please note that the nasal spray flu vaccine contains live virus and should not be used for people with A-T but can be used for other members of the household.
Preventing flu will be especially important again this year, as symptoms will overlap with COVID-19 infection. Families should continue practicing frequent hand washing and avoiding others who are infected or ill.
For COVID-19, the FDA added a new, updated vaccine to its emergency use authorizations for vaccines given to people five years of age and older. This “bivalent” booster vaccine protects against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5. The A-T Clinical Center recommends that everyone who is eligible should get vaccinated against COVID-19 and stay up to date with the new COVID-19 booster.
Note that you may be able to get both your flu and COVID-19 booster shots at the same time. For those who are eligible to get COVID-19 booster shots, the CDC considers it safe to receive them at the same time as flu shots. If you have any concerns about this, please consult with your doctor.
We hope everyone stays healthy this flu season. As always, please let us or the doctors at the A-T Clinical Center know if you have questions.
All the best,
Jennifer Thornton, Executive Director