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Experts hope new vaccines will prevent another tripledemic

Experts hope new vaccines will prevent another tripledemic

Experts hope new vaccines will prevent another tripledemic

By : Mister Kleen August 28, 2023 Comments off

Flu shots are now available in doctors’ offices and pharmacies around the country, and with new COVID-19 and RSV shots coming soon, health officials hope to prevent another “tripledemic” of respiratory illnesses that occurred last year.  

All three viruses are expected to resurge starting this fall, but experts don’t know exactly when or how much damage they’ll do since pandemic restrictions changed their normal seasonal patterns.  

Here’s what to know about the new vaccines: 

Updated COVID-19 shots 

By late September, an updated COVID-19 booster should be available that will target XBB.1.5, the Omicron variant that has been most prevalent this year, according to a New York Times story.  

Once it is approved, the booster is expected to be available to all recommended age groups at once.  

Updated RSV shots 

For the first time, infants and seniors can be immunized against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which caused a wave of hospitalizations last fall due to a severe and early outbreak. The respiratory illness is common among young children and seniors 75 and older with other conditions such as diabetes, chronic lung disease, or cardiovascular disease. 

On Aug. 3, the CDC recommended the vaccine Beyfortus be given to all babies younger than 8 months. The shot is also recommended for infants between 8 and 9 months old if they are severely immunocompromised.  

More recently, the FDA on Aug. 21 approved the Abrysvo vaccine for pregnant women shortly before giving birth to help prevent RSV in babies up to 6 months old.  

Earlier this year, another RSV vaccine, Arexvy, was approved for people ages 60 and older.   

When to get the new vaccines 

Experts advise that most people get the flu and COVID-19 shots at the same time, with some suggesting doing so before Halloween, ahead of the usual flu season. 

Experts say the RSV vaccines should be administered as soon as possible, but there isn’t much information on how they would interact if given at the same time as the flu and COVID-19 vaccines.  

The CDC is expected to make recommendations on the administration of the vaccines together in the coming weeks, according to the New York Times story. 

All of the vaccines should be available for free for those with insurance.

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