If it seems like everyone you know is getting sick, you’re not alone.
COVID-19 cases are up in the Kansas City area, and local experts say flu season is due to start in the next month.
Now, county health departments expect the boosters to arrive within the next few weeks. And with the flu vaccine also widely available, some are urging people to protect themselves with two shots at once.
“We expect to have updated vaccines available at our clinic within the next few weeks. Until then, COVID-19 vaccinations are on hold,” said Amanda Fontaine, health services manager for Jackson County Public Health.
“That timing creates the perfect opportunity to pair your updated COVID-19 vaccine with a flu vaccine for the upcoming flu season. Both shots can be given at the same time.”
The Johnson County Health Department also intends to offer the new COVID-19 booster shot in the coming weeks.
“The newest COVID vaccine will be offered at our Mission and Olathe locations, once they become available,” spokesperson Barbara Mitchell told The Star.
You may also be hearing about Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV, a common respiratory virus that usually causes cold-like symptoms.
A vaccine for this disease will be available this fall as well — but the CDC is only recommending that seniors aged 60 and over receive it.
When should I get my flu and other shots?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that most people get their flu shot in September or October this year. The vaccine is recommended for all people aged 6 months and older — the same group approved for the new COVID-19 boosters.
Jackson County Public Health, formerly known as the Jackson County Health Department, recently relocated its clinic to 3651 NE Ralph Powell Road in Lee’s Summit.
The clinic is open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and expects to begin offering the new COVID-19 boosters in October. Both these boosters and flu shots will be free.
“We highly recommend getting both the COVID-19 and the flu vaccine together,” spokesperson Kindle Biermann told The Star. “We will also be holding a drive-thru vaccine clinic in eastern Jackson County next month. People will be able to get both their COVID and flu vaccines at that time.”
Registration for this clinic is not available yet, but the department will release more details soon.
Do I also need a vaccine for RSV?
Biermann added that Jackson County hasn’t been seeing many cases of RSV. While it will offer the RSV vaccine this fall, only seniors aged 60 and over will be eligible to get one.
Mitchell added that the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment also expects to receive shipments of RSV shots along with the new COVID-19 boosters “in the coming weeks.”
“The CDC recommends that for the 2023-2024 season, RSV (vaccinations) can be given from the summer into the spring to eligible adults,” Mitchell said. “According to the CDC, co-administration of the RSV vaccine with other adult vaccines is acceptable.”
She recommended consulting a healthcare professional about whether an RSV vaccine is a good choice for you.
Do you have more questions about staying healthy in Kansas City? Ask the Service Journalism team at email@example.com.