PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The vaccines are coming and the warnings are going out -- so what shot do you need to get and when?
KDKA's John Shumway checked in with the Allegheny County Health Department for some guidance.
The focus here is particularly on the respiratory illnesses we're trying to prevent -- the flu, RSV, and of course COVID-19.
It often starts with a scratchy throat. Your sinuses start flowing. Perhaps you feel like you've been run over by something. But what is it?
"Really being able to distinguish between flu and RSV and COVID and many other common viruses is very, very difficult," said Dr. Barbara Nightingale. "And so it should always be on people's minds that it could be COVID."
Dr. Nightingale says that the new dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is out there now with more and more coming available daily.
"It's coming in slowly," Dr. Nightingale said. "Most of the big pharmacies now have it available for adults."
She says that everyone over the next six months should get this new COVID shot.
"This vaccine has been updated to variants that have been circulating recently with COVID," Dr. Nightingale said. "So it helps protect better against those."
This year's flu shot is blended to battle the current strains of the flu that are in circulation along with RSV.
"That is for older folks who are 60 and older and really for people that have a reason to have it," Dr. Nightingale said. "That puts them at higher risk."
The RSV vaccine is not for kids, but for them, there is an antibody treatment that is used in kids and young children to prevent hospitalizations.
Dr. Nightingale says that it's possible to get all the shots at once if that's your preference, but says you should call ahead to make sure your pharmacy or clinic has the vaccine or vaccines that you're looking for.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was considered that the middle of September was early for these shots, but now that schools are back in session and with the viruses out there, it's now recommended to get your shots earlier.
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