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Preventing another ‘Tripledemic’ through COVID-19, Influenza, and RSV Vaccines
NAPA COUNTY- Amid rising COVID-19 cases across Napa and the broader Bay Area, as well as concerning forecasts predicting the potential onset of another ‘Tripledemic,’Napa County Public Health officials are urging all Napa County residents to get the new COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccine specifically targets the XBB omicron subvariants currently circulating in Napa County and throughout the region. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2023 marks the first fall and winter season when vaccines are readily available to protect against the three major respiratory viruses- COVID-19, Influenza (flu), and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
“I encourage our community members to protect themselves from the triple threat of respiratory diseases this cold and flu season,” said Napa County Public Health Officer Dr. Christine Wu. “The protection provided by these vaccines will be especially important for our most vulnerable community members, including the elderly, infants under age one, pregnant women and those who are already living with a chronic health condition or who are immunocompromised.”
The U.S. Government COVID-19 Vaccination Program ended earlier this month; however, Napa County’s Health and Human Services Agency is participating in publicly funded vaccination programs, such as Vaccines for Children and the Bridge Access Program, to provide vaccines to uninsured children and adults. Those with health insurance can conveniently obtain their new COVID-19 vaccination, as well as the flu shot, directly through their healthcare provider at no cost. Additionally, individuals can visit select participating commercial pharmacies to receive all three vaccinations and are encouraged to consult with their health insurance plan. For additional information on how to protect yourself and our community from another ‘Tripledemic,’ see our “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs) below:
Who is eligible for the new COVID-19 vaccine?
The CDC recommends anyone 6 months and older to get the updated COVID-19 vaccine if they have not been vaccinated in the past 2 months.
How do I find out if I am eligible for the County’s free vaccine program?
The federally funded vaccination programs are available for those without insurance or whose insurance does not cover the costs of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. To determine eligibility, the County as well as select participating commercial pharmacies will check your insurance status when you register for the vaccination.
Who should prioritize getting the new COVID-19 vaccine?
To prevent severe illness and death, Napa County Public Health officials strongly recommend the most vulnerable residents prioritize getting the COVID-19 vaccine early in the fall. These groups include the elderly, anyone with a chronic health condition or are immunocompromised, infants under one, and pregnant women.
Who should get the RSV vaccine?
The CDC recommends adults 60 years of age and older and pregnant women get the RSV vaccine, noting that the RSV causes substantial disease that may lead to hospitalization and death in older adults and infants. It is estimated that 60,000-160,000 hospitalizations and 6,000-10,000 deaths occur annually due to RSV among adults ages 65 and older. RSV is the leading cause of hospitalizations of infants. The CDC recommends an RSV vaccine during weeks 32 - 36 weeks of pregnancy to protect newborns from RSV hospitalizations.
Can I get the flu shot and the new COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?
According to the CDC, it is safe and effective to receive both COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time. For those who are 60 years of age and older, it is safe to get all three vaccinations at the same time, if desired.
How do I access the new COVID-19 vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccines are now considered a routine vaccination and will be offered in the same way as other vaccines, through medical providers and pharmacies. Uninsured people can access free vaccines through community health centers, most commercial pharmacies, and Napa HHSA- Public Health’s Immunization clinic. For dates of vaccine clinics near you, check out the Napa County Vaccine calendar at: COVID-19 Vaccination | Napa County, CA (countyofnapa.org). Or, contact us at 707-253-4270 for more information.
Am I still able to obtain free COVID-19 tests?
Yes, beginning September 25, 2023, every U.S. household can again place an order to receive four more free COVID-19 rapid tests delivered directly to your home. These can be ordered at the same website they were previously made available at www.covid.gov/tests.