Roll Up Your Sleeves and Stay Healthy This Holiday Season
COVID-19, influenza, and RSV immunizations lower the risk of severe illness, hospitalization,
DuPage County – To protect yourself and your family against COVID-19 and influenza (flu) this holiday season, the DuPage County Health Department strongly recommends everyone six months and older, especially people with chronic health conditions or who are pregnant, get their updated COVID-19 and flu vaccines this winter.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) also spreads in the winter months. Like COVID-19 and flu, RSV causes a respiratory infection that can lead to severe illness and death. Infants and older adults are more likely to develop severe RSV and need hospitalization. This year, CDC has recommended multiple, new immunizations to protect those most at risk of getting very sick with RSV: infants, young children, and adults 60 years and older.
“COVID-19 is still a health threat for many people, and last winter, COVID-19, flu and RSV spread widely at the same time,” said Adam Forker, Executive Director, and DuPage County Health Department. “Immunizations are the most powerful tools we have to prevent serious illness and death from COVID-19, flu, and RSV. They are especially important for those at higher risk of complications.” In addition, research suggests that people who get a COVID-19 infection after vaccination are less likely to report Long COVID, compared to people who are unvaccinated.
Since October, six influenza intensive-care unit (ICU) hospitalizations among DuPage County adult residents have been reported, including two deaths. There have been no pediatric ICU hospitalizations or deaths reported yet this season.
Updated flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be safely administered together. The RSV vaccine is available for people 60 years of age and older, and it can be combined at the same visit by getting flu and COVID-19 vaccines. CDC recommends discussing RSV immunization with your doctor to determine if it is appropriate for you and your medical situation. Whether you choose to get flu, COVID-19, and RSV vaccines at the same visit or at separate visits, the most important thing is that you get all vaccines recommended for you to protect yourself against these three potentially serious illnesses this fall and winter.
DCHD offers the updated COVID-19 vaccine to eligible children through the Vaccine for Children (VFC) program. Call DCHD for questions about the availability of specific childhood vaccines or clinic schedules at (630) 682-7400.
Updated COVID-19, flu, and RSV vaccines are available through retail pharmacies and most doctor’s offices — visit www.vaccines.gov to find a location near you.
• Get immunized against COVID-19, flu, and RSV if eligible,
• Stay home if you’re sick to keep others safe,
• Wear a mask when you are sick or to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19, flu, and other illnesses. The holiday season can be stressful with all the hustle and bustle, responsibilities, and obligations. Good eating, sleeping, and exercise habits can help keep you healthy also. Be sure to make time to take care of yourself!