As the days of summer come to an end and you enjoy cooler nighttime temperatures, shorter days and changing landscapes, it is time to think about winter and protecting yourself from preventable infectious diseases. More time indoors puts us at a higher risk of catching something from that person sitting next to you on a plane, or at the next table at your favorite restaurant or even at your place of worship.
This fall, the seasonal vaccine list is longer, with the addition of a new vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which you may consider getting along with your seasonal flu shot and updated COVID-19 booster.
The flu vaccine has been updated this year and manufacturers are ready to disperse almost 170 million doses in the United States for the 2023-2024 season. All vaccines this year will be quadrivalent, which means they will contain four components to aid in the immune response. As it has since 2010, the CDC recommends annual flu vaccination for everyone ages 6 months and older with very few exceptions. This season, people with egg allergies can even receive the flu shot, according to the CDC.
Updated COVID-19 Vaccine
While you are at it, consider getting the updated COVID-19 shot, which will be available in early fall. This updated vaccine will provide enhanced protection against the COVID-19 virus and has been shown to be effective protecting against the newer variants, which have been causing some spikes in COVID-19 infection around the country.
The COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older in the United States for prevention of COVID-19. There is currently no FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine for children younger than 6 months of age.
If you like the number three, and you are over age 60, talk to your doctor about whether the RSV vaccine is right for you. One dose of RSV vaccine provides significant protection against RSV disease, a respiratory virus that circulates during the winter season.
Studies have shown that it is safe to get both a flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. Some people find it is more convenient to get their vaccines at one time, rather than having two separate visits. If you are eligible (over age 60) and interested in the RSV vaccine, speak to your healthcare professional about the timing of that, as well.
The content of this site is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical conditions or treatments.