Expecting a Baby this Holiday Season?Dec 27, 2023 10:03AM ● By Chris Jones
Respiratory illnesses like Flu, COVID-19 and RSV tend to rise as cooler temperatures bring
people indoors and people gather for the holidays. Thankfully, there are new tools available
this year to help families keep severe illness at bay.
This year’s Flu and COVID-19 vaccines are well-targeted to this season’s variants, and for
the first-time ever, there is an RSV vaccine for pregnant women. All three vaccines reduce
your chances for severe illness from these respiratory viruses and they also pass along this
protection to your newborn for the first six months of life.
There are also steps your family can take to protect you and your new baby. If you are
planning to gather with new grandparents and other adults over 60 years old this season,
encourage them to talk with their healthcare providers about also getting vaccinated against
RSV. In fact, everyone six months and older is eligible for Flu and COVID-19 vaccines,
which can help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses.
In addition to getting vaccinated, healthy habits like washing your hands, covering your cough
and staying home when sick will add an effective layer of protection against illness this
season. Ask your loved ones to think twice before gathering with you if they are feeling sick.
Ask your healthcare provider about vaccinations that can help protect you and your baby, or visit vaccinate.virginia.gov for more information.
Bottom line, ask your healthcare provider about getting vaccinated against these respiratory illnesses. Talk to your family members about the importance of following these recommendations this holiday season. And don’t forget to stay home if you are sick.