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Posted on September 27, 2023 at 12:11 PM by Kari Bray
The season of colorful leaves, crisp mornings, and earlier sunsets has arrived.
Unfortunately, it is also the season of sniffles, sore throats, and other symptoms.
We really don’t want it to be the season of serious illness and overloaded hospitals.
Respiratory viruses tend to spread in fall and winter. Usually, catching one means feeling crummy for a while and recovering at home with rest, fluids, and maybe some over-the-counter medicine.
But even common respiratory illnesses can turn severe. While anyone can become seriously ill, there is higher risk for infants and young children, older adults, and people with underlying health complications. We have lost lives to flu, COVID, and RSV in Snohomish County over the years.
There are now protective immunizations available for all three of these illnesses. Flu and COVID vaccines are recommended for everyone, while RSV vaccines are recommended for higher risk groups. Immunization lowers the chances of becoming ill and, if you do get ill, reduces the severity. It can be the difference between recovering at home and ending up in the emergency department.
By protecting yourself, you also help protect others by not spreading illness.
Keeping track of which vaccines you need this Fall can be overwhelming, especially with new and updated immunizations available. Here’s a summary to keep in mind.
This one is probably the easiest to remember because recommendations haven’t changed much.
An updated COVID vaccine is recommended by CDC as of earlier this month. Your updated COVID vaccine is a new shot for the 2023-24 illness season that better targets some highly transmissible variants (namely the Omicron XBB family).
This immunization option is newly available for some ages. It’s important to ask about RSV immunization if you are the parent or caregiver of an infant or if you are an adult who is 60 years or older. Immunization options are expected to be coming soon for pregnant individuals, as well.