Health experts are warning that the upcoming autumn and winter seasons could be disrupted by the ongoing presence of COVID-19. As previous immunity may decrease over time and new variants can cause different symptoms, it is recommended to get the new COVID vaccination to prepare for the upcoming season.
The new vaccine, which is expected to be available in mid-to-late September pending regulatory action, will be a monovalent vaccine targeting the XBB1.5 variant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will discuss the new vaccine on September 12 before it can be approved for use.
In the meantime, health experts are advising individuals to wear masks and stay at home when feeling sick to protect themselves until the new vaccine becomes available. The new vaccine, similar to annual flu vaccines, aims to provide updated protection against circulating strains.
It is important to note that vaccines may not completely prevent infection, but they can reduce the severity of symptoms and lower the risk of hospitalization. Additionally, vaccines decrease the chances of developing long COVID and chronic conditions while helping to prevent the spread of the virus to others.
Research suggests that vaccine effectiveness may decrease over time, but getting vaccinated again can still provide protection and lessen the severity of symptoms. The new vaccine is expected to be effective against the XBB1.5 variant as well as other variants, although it may not be a perfect match.
For New Yorkers, it is recommended to bring their CDC COVID vaccination record card when getting the new vaccine to have a record of their vaccination history. The new vaccine is recommended for those who are more than six months out from their last dose, as it is most protective within six months of vaccination.
Furthermore, the timing of the new vaccine should consider recent COVID infections, with a recommended waiting period of about four weeks after the resolution of illness.
As we approach the autumn and winter seasons, it is essential to stay informed and take necessary precautions to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19.
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