WASHINGTON (7News) — The holidays are just around the corner. You’ve probably already started hunting for deals, purchased the turkey, and know how you’ll set the table. But with a family gathering coming soon, have you gotten your flu or COVID-19 vaccine?
Experts say the next time you head to the grocery store to run some errands, add getting your flu and covid vaccines to that list too.
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“What I tell my patients is in the last two years we've seen like an incredible decrease in common circulating viruses, mainly due to restriction protocols for masking and social distancing,” said Dr. Jason Singh, an Internal Medicine Specialist with Kaiser Permanente. “Because of that, overall immunity has been low for just not being exposed to the traditional pathogens in the environment. And so now, it may be back in full force during fall and winter.”
Dr. Singh says they’re seeing a higher activity of cases which is why it’s so important to get vaccinated now to stay protected through the holidays when you’re more likely to be interacting with other people.
“Generally two weeks after you've gotten over the flu infection or COVID infection you can actually get the vaccine because the antibodies for the vaccine may still be different from the antibodies that you develop naturally from the infection,” explained Dr. Singh. “It takes about two weeks for folks to develop antibodies to the vaccine. So uh really important to get it done now.”
Just last month, Kaiser Permanente said there was a concerning surge of RSV among young children here in the DMV. They’re urging parents to protect their children this winter by making sure they get the flu shot and updated COVID-19 booster as soon as possible. If your child has a concerning cough, fever, or other symptoms, keep them home and contact your provider.