As we enter autumn, we have many fall highlights ahead: Halloween costume planning, all variety of food and drink dipped in pumpkin spice magic, and even our southern California version of sweater weather. Not to mention football! So the one thing we don’t want to have to worry about is getting sick – or worse yet ending up in the hospital.
So this year we have a triple-protection vaccine schedule to keep you healthy, happy, and haunt-free.
The Significance of Seasonal Vaccination
Vaccination is one of the most effective tools we have to prevent and control infectious diseases. The benefits of seasonal vaccines are substantial, both on an individual and community level. By getting vaccinated against influenza, COVID-19, and RSV, we can significantly reduce the spread of these illnesses, ease the burden on our healthcare system, and save lives.
Influenza (Flu) Vaccine
This one is easy, basically everyone should get it: age 6 months and older. It is especially crucial for the elderly, young children, pregnant women, and individuals with underlying health conditions. Influenza, a common respiratory illness, can have severe consequences, especially for vulnerable populations. The flu vaccine is updated annually to target the specific strains expected to circulate during the flu season. Of note, pregnant women should not receive the nasal spray version of the vaccine.
The influenza vaccine is available now at all Caduceus locations while supplies last.
This vaccine is also broadly recommended: at least one dose for every age 5 years and older. Seniors, pregnant women, and those with respiratory disease or have a compromised immune system are most at risk. It is important to remember that this dose is no longer a booster to the original COVID-19 virus and is really a new, updated vaccine. Multiple doses may be indicated for children age 6 months - 4 years and people who are immunocompromised.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light the importance of vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested and authorized initially for emergency use, and now for preventative health maintenance, proving highly effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. Achieving high vaccination rates within our community is vital to curbing the spread of this novel coronavirus.
Check with your Caduceus physician or advanced care practitioner through your patient portal or live chat from our website to confirm availability of the COVID-19 vaccine at Caduceus locations.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Vaccine
This vaccine has some special considerations: it is advised for people 60 years and older, and for pregnant women 32 - 36 weeks, and children 8 months and younger who are entering their first RSV season. It can be received at the same time as the Influenza and COVID-19 vaccines, but due to timing during the third trimester of pregnancy it may make sense to schedule it separately for prenatal patients.
RSV primarily affects young children and older adults, causing respiratory tract infections. While many people will recover within one to two weeks, it can create serious complications for susceptible people, especially with respiratory disease or who are immunocompromised.
Check with your Caduceus physician or advanced care practitioner through your patient portal to confirm availability of the RSV vaccine at Caduceus locations.
At Caduceus, we are dedicated to promoting a culture of health and wellness within our community. As part of this commitment, we strongly advocate for seasonal vaccinations against influenza and COVID-19, and discuss with your doctor if you are eligible for RSV vaccine. All vaccines can be received at the same time. Together we can create more treats, less tricks this sweater weather season.
Nathaniel DeNicola, MD MSHP
Chief Medical Officer, Caduceus Medical Group