Protect Against Winter Respiratory Infections
Posted on 11/07/2023
Wild to Mild

This winter season is just around the corner, and with the drop in temperatures comes an increased risk of respiratory infections, specifically Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Influenza (Flu), and COVID-19. 
A safe way to build protection, prevent serious illnesses and keep your family safe is to get vaccinated. When is the time to get vaccinated? The time is now, as it takes two weeks to build immunity.

Who can get vaccines, and which vaccine could be the best for you or your loved ones? Keep on reading to gain more insight. This information does not replace medical advice, please talk to your doctor before getting vaccinated if you have additional questions.  

COVID-19 Vaccinations: 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, work, and interact. However, the development and distribution of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines have provided a beacon of hope. By getting vaccinated, you not only protect yourself but also contribute to the collective effort to reach herd immunity, ending the pandemic's grip on our lives. Vaccination not only prevents severe illness but also reduces the spread of the virus, ultimately saving lives and helping us return to a semblance of normalcy. 

Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Everyone ages 6 months and older
  • Pregnant people

COVID-19 Vaccines Available:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech (mRNA Vaccine)
  • Moderna (mRNA Vaccine)
  • Novavax (protein subunit vaccine)
RSV Vaccinations:

RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus, is a common cause of respiratory infections in children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. It can lead to severe illnesses such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia. In recent years, RSV has received more attention, as illnesses rates have increased, and a vaccine became more widely available. For infants and high-risk individuals, RSV vaccination can be a game-changer in preventing severe respiratory infections and hospitalizations.  

Who can get the RSV vaccine? 

  • People 60 and older   
  • Pregnant people (during week 32 and week 36 of pregnancy – the vaccine will protect infants through the first six months of their life)
Who can get a dose of the RSV protective antibodies (not vaccine)
  • Babies up to 8 months as they enter their first RSV season (second dose may be recommended for toddlers (8-19 months) before they enter their second RSV season if they have lung, heart or immune problems).
RSV Vaccines & Antibody Dose Available
  • There are two RSV vaccines licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in adults 60 and older in the United States: RSVPreF3 (Arexvy)  and RSVpreF (Abrysvo).
  •  Both vaccines contain a part of the RSV virus. Both vaccines work by causing an immune response that can protect you from respiratory disease if you are infected with RSV in the future. RSV Vaccination: What Older Adults 60 Years of Age and Over Should Know | CDC
  • The RSV preventive antibody (generic name nirsevimab, trade name Beyfortus) is a shot that prevents severe RSV disease in infants and young children.

Flu Vaccinations: 

Influenza, or the flu, is a recurring threat that impacts millions each year. The symptoms of the flu can be similar to those of COVID-19 and RSV, making it challenging to differentiate between the two without testing. By receiving the annual flu vaccine, you reduce the risk of contracting the flu and potentially lessen the burden on healthcare systems that are already dealing with the challenges of COVID-19. Combining COVID-19 and flu vaccinations is especially important as co-infections can lead to more severe health issues. 
Who can get the Flu Vaccine?

  • Everyone 6 months of age and older 
  • Pregnant people 

Type of vaccine options

  • There are three flu vaccines that are preferentially recommended for people 65 years and older. These are Fluzone, Flublok and Fluad.        
  • LAIV4 us a nasal spray vaccine approved for non-pregnant, healthy people 2 through 49 years old.  AFLURIA is approved for use in people 18 through 64 years or for people 6 months and older depending on the type of injection method.

Can I get these vaccines at the same time? 

Yes, Flu, COVID-19, and RSV vaccines may be given at the same visit. If you're only able to make one trip to get your fall and winter vaccines, you can get all those vaccines recommended for you at once. If you prefer to receive each vaccine at a separate visit, there is no minimum waiting period between vaccines.  


You should get vaccinated as quickly as possible to make sure you are up to date and protected for this season.  


Getting vaccinated for COVID-19, RSV, and the flu is not just about protecting yourself; it helps protect your community and saves lives. Together we can work toward a healthier world.  


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