There is a confluence of all three viruses occurring now. This means you can get COVID and the RSV virus
and the flu virus all at the same time. The hospital emergency rooms tell us this. Apparently, since the
onset of the pandemic in 2020 with the lockdowns and school closures, there has been very little flu and
RSV. Now that community gatherings are again happening such as weddings, reunions, Thanksgiving
and Christmas; COVID and other viral diseases are more easily spread. In addition, community immunity
is down in the absence of these diseases.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is typically a pediatric disease but it can affect adults as well. There is
now a clinical trial for seniors testing a vaccine for RSV. If you get all of these at the same time and you
are a senior or have other chronic diseases like diabetes, heart or kidney disease, or obesity, you are at
high risk. The latest evolution of COVID-19, the omicron variant, has not caused as much hospitalization
in those previously vaccinated. In many cases it presents like a cold or mild flu. For the unvaccinated, all
bets are off.
Since September of 2022, there is a COVID-19 vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron variant. It is
called a bivalent vaccine because it is active against the original COVID virus, plus the Omicron variant. It
is recommended for almost all ages now. This vaccine is available In most pharmacies and is made by
either Pfizer or Moderna. It matters not which brand you get regardless of your prior vaccines. In my
office we do not have the COVID vaccine, but do have the high dose flu vaccine for everyone 65 and
older. These are walk-in vaccines, no appointment necessary.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE ON SIDE EFFECTS of COVID-19 VACCINES:
I have personally reviewed the statements put out by Harvard, Mayo Clinic, the CDC and the NIH. All
recommend the COVID-19 vaccines. There were some side effects such as cerebral venous thrombosis in
the original J&J vaccine. It occurred in middle aged women but was exceedingly rare. The J&J vaccine is
no longer available. With the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, there was noted some myocarditis in
adolescent and young adult males. This is very rare and as far as I can tell all recovered. To give some
perspective, only 1/100,00 are struck by lightning. Side effects from COVID vaccines are much less than
that. More to the point, the bad effects from getting COVID (such as long haul neurological issues ) are
much worse than any side effects of the vaccine. The vaccine is more effective than treatment for the
disease, such as Paxlovid.
Recent testing of wastewater (wouldn’t want that job) showed a surge in COVID-19 after Thanksgiving. I
expect the same after all the get togethers for Christmas and the holidays.
Get the COVID-19 bivalent vaccine now if you have not already gotten it, to allow 2 weeks for immunity
to develop prior to family gatherings.
Get the flu vaccine now to allow 2 weeks for immunity to develop prior to family gatherings.
We have plenty of senior flu vaccines in the office.
Best Wishes and Happy Holidays!
David G. Wilson MD and Staff