The NC Department of Health and Hot Springs Health Program strongly encourage everyone 6 months and older to get the updated vaccines available this fall.
The reformulated COVID-19 vaccine is specific to the most current variant as the virus continues to evolve. It helps protect people from serious illness (including hospitalization and death) and potential long-term effects such as debilitating fatigue, difficulty breathing, and heart problems. The COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone at no cost.
Influenza (flu) also spreads in the fall and winter. Like COVID-19, this family of viruses cause a respiratory infection that can lead to severe illness and even death. This is particularly the case in older adults, young children and those with underlying medical issues. The 2023-2024 shots covers 2 strains of Flu A and 2 strains of Flu B. It is most effective if received before the end of October.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is another common fall/winter virus. Like COVID-19 and flu, this virus causes a respiratory infection that can lead to severe illness and even death. This year – for the first time – there is an RSV vaccine to protect people 60 years and older. There is also a new vaccine that can protect infants under 8 months and some older babies at increased risk of severe illness with RSV.
All three vaccines are anticipated to be available at the Hot Springs Health Program Health Centers (Mars Hill, Mashburn, Hot Springs and Laurel) by October 2nd. No appointment is necessary: walk-in lab visits are available Monday – Friday (8:30 – 5:00) at all clinics, Saturday (9:00 – 5:00) at Mars Hill, and Sunday (1:00 – 5:00) at Mars Hill. (RSV vaccines require a prescription from your primary care provider.)