As we approach the holidays, there are several things to prepare for – kids out of school, time with family and friends, some holiday cheer, and, yes, seasonal sickness. So, “Tis the season to be cheerful and mindful of the common cold, allergies, sinuses, the flu, and even COVID-19.
As a reminder, when WHO first announced COVID-19 in 2019, most of America perceived the outbreak as something sad but was glad that it wasn’t knocking out our doors. By March 2020, cases of COVID had drastically impacted us in the US. The viral contagious infectious disease was like the plague. It was like a death sentence that people evaded, like bullets.
Today, the stigma, the sting of death, and the fear of COVID in so many ways have dissipated. I believe that disruption is partly due to science with the release of the COVID-19 vaccinations and several boosters. Since people are no longer dying in record numbers, the virus isn’t as scary.
Recent studies have shown that COVID-19 cases are the lowest since the onset of the pandemic, and while that’s true, the virus is still here, and with cold & flu seasons, there has been a slight uptake leaving plenty of reason to get prepared through boosters. To boost or not to boost is entirely up to you. Let’s take a look at what to expect!
What to expect during the cold and flu season
Expect to see an increase in cases across the US. Typical cold and flu season starts in October, with high instances reported between December and February. Reports reveal that the season is off to a high start, with many cases already underway.
The belief is “When people began isolating, social distancing and masking to slow the spread of COVID-19 in early 2020, flu all but disappeared in the US. As a result, most people haven’t been exposed to influenza for a few years, meaning immunity against flu viruses could be low and underscoring the need to get vaccinated,” as reported by CNN Health.
. There are three new flu vaccines; CDC is recommending, even though numbers are low now, to protect ourselves against what’s coming, everyone should get vaccinated as soon as possible.
New recommended booster and who should get it
The CDC recommends that everyone stays up to date with booster shots. Think of this as you would the flu shot, something you take every so often to protect yourself and others from infection. The most recent booster is bivalent.
It became available to those 12 and older in September and those under 12 in October. According to the CDC, “The updated (bivalent) boosters are called “bivalent” because they protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5.
Previous boosters are called “monovalent” because they were designed to protect against the original virus that causes COVID-19. They also provide some protection against Omicron, but not as much as the updated (bivalent) boosters.”
To get boosted or not is an individual decision; however, ‘tis is the season. It’s also the season for colds and flu. So, flu vaccines are an option too. Whatever we decide this season, we must prioritize our health, build strong immune systems, work out, and get proper rest.