AUSTIN (KXAN) — Despite the abnormally warm temperatures in Central Texas, fall is here and along with it a reminder from doctors who say some viruses tend to hit hard this time of year.
“We are urging people to take advantage of the vaccines and treatments we have available,” said Dr. Rosha McCoy with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMS). “Prevention is always the best way so you don’t get sick or in the hospital or get long-term symptoms.”
When it comes to the flu, McCoy urges you to get the vaccine as soon as possible.
“The flu vaccine is available. You should get it in September or October.”
There is an update to this latest flu vaccine according to McCoy.
“One new interesting recommendation is that people with egg allergies don’t need to be concerned at all. They can get the flu vaccine, no special considerations for them,” McCoy said.
COVID-19 vaccines are also available. McCoy emphasizes it’s not a booster but rather a yearly vaccine recommendation.
“It’s being called an updated vaccine, because we are thinking this will become an annual vaccine, kinda like the flu. The flu isn’t really a booster shot, it’s an annual vaccine,” McCoy said.
If you are over the age of 60, McCoy recommends an RSV vaccine.
The AAMS is urging people to get vaccinated, as recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that as of June 30 only:
- 28.3% of adults ages 18 and up are up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination (primary series and bivalent booster).
- 7.1% of children six months to 17 years old are up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination (primary series and bivalent booster).
At the end of last year’s flu season (2021-2022), the CDC estimates:
- 49.4% of adults ages 18 and up were vaccinated for influenza.
- 57.8% of children six months to 17 years old were vaccinated for influenza.
“You can get all three at the same time. The RSV vaccine is available now, maybe get that if you’re over 60, and certainly the COVID and flu vaccines. So it’s really talking to your doctor and thinking about what is best for each person,” McCoy said.