Thanksgiving Looms: Health Experts Urge Immediate Vaccination for Winter Protection


NEW ORLEANS — Thanksgiving Looms: Health Experts Urge Immediate Vaccination for Winter Protection. As Thanksgiving approaches within two weeks, health experts emphasize the critical need to prioritize vaccination to safeguard against winter illnesses for yourself and your family.

Health experts underline that it takes two weeks for immunity to develop post-vaccination. To shield against the flu, COVID-19, and RSV, professionals recommend immediate vaccination.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, CDC Director, stresses the urgency, stating, “We know we’re gonna see more flu starting to circulate and more COVID. So right now is a great time for you to get vaccinated that way, your body can build up its protection ahead of the holiday season.”

Dr. Fred Lopez, Infectious Disease Specialist at LSU, highlights that this holiday season marks the first time adults can receive the RSV vaccine, approved in May this year.

“We are currently in RSV season, so we are seeing cases of RSV, and they have been increasing in recent weeks,” notes Dr. Lopez. He adds that flu cases are also on the rise, emphasizing the need to book vaccine appointments promptly, reassuring that only one appointment is necessary.

“There is a lot of experience receiving COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time, not as much as experience with this new RSV vaccine, but yes, the CDC says you could receive all three at the same time,” reassures Dr. Lopez.

The severity of these viruses’ impact will likely hinge on vaccination rates. Dr. Cohen emphasizes, “I know folks want to leave COVID in the rear-view mirror, but unfortunately, it is still here and is still causing folks to get very sick and even die.”

As a reminder of COVID mitigation measures, wearing masks, frequent handwashing, and staying home if feeling unwell remain essential practices.

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