With COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases on the rise and flu season underway, now is the time to get your family vaccinated against the flu, COVID-19 and RSV. Here’s a quick primer on the vaccines. You can learn more about each vaccine in our individual flu shot, COVID-19 vaccine and RSV immunization articles.
Why should my child get vaccinated against the flu, COVID-19 and RSV?
While it has always been important for everyone to get vaccinated against the flu, RSV and COVID-19, it is arguably even more important this year given the ongoing presence of COVID-19 and the emergence of RSV. Flu, RSV and COVID-19 cause similar symptoms and if your child is unlucky enough to catch more than one at the same time, they could have a worse course of illness as their body tries to fight off the infections.
The flu vaccine
- Most children 6 months and older will need 1 flu shot this year.
- If your child is 6 months to 8 years old and has never had a flu vaccine or has never had a 2-dose series of the flu vaccine, they will need 2 shots separated by 4 weeks.
The updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine
The CDC recommends 1 dose of the updated COVID-19 vaccine for everyone 5 years and older. Children aged 6 months–4 years old may need multiple doses of COVID-19 vaccines to be up to date, including at least 1 dose of the updated COVID-19 vaccine. This specific vaccine provides better protection against the latest omicron subvariants.
The RSV vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has also approved a new monoclonal antibody injection called Nirsevimab (Beyfortus) to protect newborns and infants under 8 months against Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), which is one of the leading causes of hospitalization. Children under 8 months (and certain high-risk babies 8-19 months old who are particularly susceptible to RSV) are eligible to receive a single Beyfortus injection.
Is it safe for my child to get the flu, RSV and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time?
Yes, as long as your child is eligible to get the vaccines then it is safe to administer them together.
Make vaccinations a priority
Vaccines are scientifically proven to be among the safest and most effective ways of protecting babies and children from diseases such as measles, meningitis and whooping cough. Many of these illnesses are particularly life-threatening in children, so it is essential that parents make pediatric vaccinations a priority. Timely vaccination ensures your child is immune before any potential exposure to the disease and will keep them protected when schools resume in-person.
Reach out to your pediatrician with any concerns
In general, if you have any health-related concerns regarding your child at any time, reach out to your pediatrician. Doctors, nurses and medical staff are always here to help you during this pandemic and into the future.