COVID-19, flu, and RSV vaccines are now available
Salt Lake City— Vaccines against COVID-19, flu and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) are now available to help Utahns avoid winter respiratory infections.
“We want to encourage everyone to get vaccinated and protect themselves against flu and COVID-19. No one wants to be sick at home, and these vaccines help everyone avoid those sick days. It is vitally important that people who are at risk of getting severely ill from respiratory illnesses get vaccinated. These include really young children, pregnant women, adults aged 65 and older, and people who are immunocompromised. Many of these high risk people can get the RSV vaccine or antibodies in addition to the flu and COVID vaccine,” said Leisha Nolen, state epidemiologist for the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.
Utahns are encouraged to talk to their healthcare provider or pharmacist to see which vaccines are right for them. Current recommendations for COVID-19, flu, and RSV vaccination are:
- People ages 6 months and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, at least 2 months after any dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
- The COVID-19 vaccine has been updated to offer better protection against common circulating strains in the U.S. right now. This is similar to flu vaccines in that vaccines are updated each year to protect against the expected circulating strains of the virus. This vaccine will be available in the coming weeks.
Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.
- Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year.
- Utahns should get vaccinated before the end of October to give them the best chance at protecting themselves from getting sick before flu activity peaks (usually between December and February).
- The flu vaccine protects you against 4 different strains of influenza. It’s updated each year to protect against the virus strains most likely to circulate in the U.S. that fall and winter.
- Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.
- There are 2 RSV vaccines available for adults aged 60 and older. An RSV vaccine for pregnant women is expected sometime in October.
- There are also 2 approved monoclonal antibodies expected to be available in October that can help protect infants from respiratory disease caused by RSV. Monoclonal antibodies target a specific virus or bacteria. They provide antibodies directly to the person rather than causing the body to make antibodies as occurs in vaccination. These antibodies help the immune system fight the disease.
- Children younger than 8 months of age should get a monoclonal antibody called nirsevimab during RSV season. For some children between the ages of 8 and 19 months who are at a higher risk of severe RSV disease, nirsevimab may also be recommended during their 2nd RSV season.
- Children younger than 24 months of age with certain medical conditions should get a monoclonal antibody called palivizumab. It’s given once a month during RSV season.
- Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to see if an RSV vaccine is right for you.
- Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/about/prevention.html.
Vaccines will be available in the coming weeks at healthcare provider offices, pharmacies, and local health departments. Community vaccine clinics may also be held at worksites, schools, health clinics, and other locations. Check with your health insurance or the vaccine provider about any costs before receiving the vaccines.