"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Triple dementia? What the CDC recommends for COVID, flu and RSV

10/05/2023 – As we move into fall and winter, we're continuously under the specter of a “triple epidemic,” wherein cases of COVID-19, influenza, and RSV increase concurrently.

Leading CDC experts met on Wednesday to debate the three viruses that we're confronted with and the way we are able to best protect ourselves and others.

At the meeting, CDC Director Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, said clear, easy messages are of utmost importance immediately: The only approach to protect yourself from the worst viruses this season is to get vaccinated. Everyone over 6 months of age should get it Flu vaccination and updated Covid vaccination; Pregnant women and adults over 60 should get vaccinated against RSV. For all of those viruses, October is the most effective time to get vaccinated and thus prevent later infection.

“Coadministration of this vaccine with flu and COVID vaccines is completely acceptable,” said Demetre Daskalakis, MD, MPH, deputy director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). “And it's important to remember that there is a lot of overlap between the conditions that can increase the risk of flu and COVID and those that can also increase the risk of severe RSV disease.”

I'm going through the CDCs updated recommendation list For all three shots, Daskalakis said if you've got already received a dose of the previous COVID vaccine, you need to wait about two months before getting the updated shot. If you've got recently had COVID, that is CDC guidelines sayyou need to consider waiting 3 months to get the brand new COVID vaccination.

In addition to the unique vaccination series and one dose of the updated vaccine, Daskalakis said immunocompromised people could now receive additional doses depending on their doctor's advice.

Regarding RSV in infants, Daskalakis identified that every one babies are eligible for nirsevimab, the monoclonal antibody treatment to guard against RSV. Another approach to goal newborns and young children is to vaccinate pregnant women at 32 to 36 weeks of pregnancy.

For all of those viruses, experts agreed that speed is vital to treatment. Getting tested as soon as possible, getting antiviral medications like Paxlovid for COVID-19 or those for the flu, and covering up in case you've been exposed to a virus are all necessary strategies to guard others from getting infected.

Since the introduction of the updated COVID vaccine, there have been such many reports of people who find themselves having difficulty getting an appointment or whose appointments are canceled on the last minute. Daskalakis and Nirav Shah, MD, JD, principal deputy director of the CDC, addressed these issues.

“Public health vaccine distribution is very different from commercial vaccine distribution,” said Daskalakis, who said the transition took a yr to arrange. Despite the reports, he said, the CDC is seeing a rise in vaccine shipments daily to all providers, be they pharmacies or doctor's offices.

“Please don't give up hope on the vaccine. The vaccine is available,” Shah said. “And please double check with your doctor or pharmacist because if they didn't have the vaccine two weeks ago, they probably have it now.”