Rising COVID Cases Urge Consideration of Booster Shots

As flu season approaches, Metro Health is taking proactive measures to ensure the community’s well-being by providing flu shots in conjunction with COVID-19 vaccinations. Even before the season has officially begun, several individuals have already fallen ill, all while COVID cases continue to rise.

Local health authorities are attributing the increase in COVID cases to a combination of factors, including the decrease in immunity resulting from vaccinations administered some time ago. Officials are urging those who have not received the latest booster shot to do so, given the current circumstances.

David Alegria, the Public Relations Manager for the City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, expressed uncertainty as to why these respiratory illnesses are on the rise. However, he highlighted that a surge in travel and indoor gatherings, primarily driven by the sweltering summer heat, could be contributing factors.

Ensuring that individuals are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations is crucial. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends multiple doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 months to 5 years, including at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Additionally, individuals aged 6 and above should receive one updated Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, especially those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. Furthermore, for those aged 65 and older, a second dose of the updated Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is advised.

Alegria emphasized the importance of symptom monitoring, self-testing, and mask wearing, especially when experiencing symptoms and being in close proximity to others. However, the effectiveness of COVID vaccination decreases over time, with the vaccine being 53% effective in preventing symptoms after one month, dropping to 14% after six months, and only 9% after nine months. These statistics highlight the need for continued vigilance and adherence to protective measures.

Alegria stressed the critical role of vaccinations in safeguarding against severe illnesses and hospitalizations. To adequately shield oneself from COVID-19 or the flu, catching up on routine vaccinations is of utmost importance. Metro Health is actively organizing pop-up clinics to facilitate the catching up process for COVID and flu vaccinations. Individuals experiencing symptoms are advised to stay home, avoid contact with others, and seek COVID testing.

As flu season approaches, the combined efforts of Metro Health and the community are vital in mitigating the impact of both COVID-19 and the flu. It is crucial for individuals to remain informed and proactive in safeguarding their health. For further information on vaccine clinics, please visit the provided link.

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