SNHD: COVID boosters, flu shots highly recommended this holiday season

Jefferson County Department of Health is encouraging people to get flu vaccines.
Jefferson County Department of Health is encouraging people to get flu vaccines.(WBRC)
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 11:27 AM PST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Las Vegans are being urged to get their COVID-19 booster shots along with the annual flu shots right now before folks get together with family and friends this holiday season.

The Southern Nevada Health District Officer Dr. Fermin Leguen said, “With the triple threat of seasonal flu, COVID-19 and RSV looming, we’re advising people to get their flu vaccine and updated COVID-19 boosters before their Thanksgiving get-togethers.” Dr. Leguen says to provide full protection from the flu and COVID-19 it will take about two weeks for the vaccinations to take effect.

Before joining indoor gatherings the SNHD recommends COVID-19 testing with folks who don’t live in the same household. Dr. Leguen said, “If you test positive, in order to avoid spreading the virus you shouldn’t attend any indoor events.”

During the Thanksgiving holiday people who get together inside crowded spaces will pose a higher risk to anyone who is unvaccinated and could also be more at risk for severe illness.

For people who are 5 years and older, the SNHD recommends receiving one updated (bivalent) booster, especially if it has been at least two months since their last COVID-19 vaccine dose, no matter if it was a primary series dose or an original booster.

The SNHD recommends folks get the updated bivalent booster at least two months after receiving an original booster. Both COVID-19 booster and flu vaccinations can be taken at the same time.

The SNHD says people who are immunocompromised and are older than 65 years are more likely to get sick and develop severe illness with COVID-19. It is important that they stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines, and take multiple steps to protect themselves and others including:

  • For best protection wear a mask or respirator that is high quality and well-fitting
  • Keep handy COVID-19 rapid tests
  • Avoid crowded indoor settings
  • As much as possible, keep indoor settings with friends and family well ventilated
  • Take time to use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and wash hands with with soap and water
  • If sick, stay home

Using these measures will also help prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Right now there is no vaccine at this time for RSV.

Even though the flu is preventable, it is also very serious. The SNHD recommends people who are at high risk for serious flu-related complications and everyone 6 months or older, get their flu shot at least once a year and just as soon as it becomes available.

This year if you are over 65 years or older the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting the higher dose flu vaccines called adjuvanted flu vaccine, which has an ingredient that will create a stronger immune response.

To locate more information about COVID-19 prevention: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Vaccine clinic information for COVID-19 is found here: www.SNHD.info/covid-vaccine and for flu vaccine clinics, visit: www.snhd.info/flu