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

Tripledemic? What CDC recommends for COVID, flu and RSV

October 5, 2023 – As we move into fall and winter, the specter of a “triple epidemic” – when cases of COVID-19, influenza and RSV increase concurrently – looms over our heads.

Leading experts from the CDC met and discussed it on Wednesday three viruses what we're faced 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 messaging is paramount straight away: The only method to protect yourself from this season's worst viruses is thru vaccination. Anyone over 6 months old should get it Flu shot and updated Covid vaccination; Pregnant women and adults over 60 should get vaccinated against RSV. For all of those viruses, the month of October is the most effective time to get vaccinated to stop later infections.

“Concomitant administration of this vaccine with influenza and COVID vaccines is completely acceptable,” said Demetre Daskalakis, MD, MPH, acting 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 influenza and COVID and those that can also increase the risk of severe RSV disease.”

Review of CDCs updated recommendation list For all three vaccinations, Daskalakis said if you could have already received a dose of the previous COVID vaccine, you need to wait about 2 months before receiving the updated vaccine. If you could have recently had COVID, The CDC guidelines sayyou need to consider waiting 3 months to get the brand new COVID vaccination.

In addition to the initial series of vaccinations and one dose of the updated vaccine, Daskalakis said immunocompromised individuals may now receive additional doses depending on their doctor's advice.

As for RSV in infants, Daskalakis noted that every one babies are eligible for nirsevimab, the monoclonal antibody treatment to guard against RSV. Another method to specifically vaccinate newborns and infants is to vaccinate pregnant women between 32 and 36 weeks of pregnancy.

With all of those viruses, experts agree that speed is the important thing to treatment. Getting tested as soon as possible, taking antiviral medications like Paxlovid for COVID-19 or those for the flu, and wearing a mask after exposure to a virus are all necessary strategies for shielding others from infection.

There have been such for the reason that introduction of the updated COVID vaccine 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 it took a 12 months to arrange for the switch. Despite the reports, he said, the CDC is seeing a rise in vaccine deliveries on daily basis for 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 haven’t had the vaccine two weeks ago, they probably have it now.”