Doctors say get protected now against viruses entering fall season

MIAMI VALLEY — Fall starts Saturday, which means cold and flu season is right around the corner.

>>RELATED: Booking a COVID-19 vaccine? Some are reporting canceled appointments or insurance issues

Doctors are urging people to protect themselves against viruses like the flu and Covid-19.

News Center 7′s Xavier Hershovitz reports the state is not tracking flu cases yet.

They are also extremely low here in Ohio but for places like Australia in the Southern Hemisphere, their flu season runs from April to February.

Early data shows vaccines reduced flu-related hospitalizations by 52% during the Southern Hemisphere’s 2023 flu season.

>>RELATED: State health chief: No evidence COVID-19 variant in Ohio is causing any more severe illness

Hershovitz says the flu vaccine does not always protect against the dominant strain that’s going around but health officials say the vaccine worked well this year.

“They had a moderately severe flu experience and fortunately their viruses that were circulating down under match very nicely what’s in the vaccine this year,” said Dr. William Schaffner, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Doctors recommend everyone six months or older get a flu vaccine, ideally in September or October.

It takes a couple of weeks to get maximum protection and that way, people are good to go when flu season starts.

>>RELATED: Study: Neanderthal genes linked to severe COVID-19 risks, poorer outcomes

As for Covid cases, Hershovitz says there were 600 hospital admissions here in Ohio in the last week, according to this website.

Earlier this week, the CDC recommended everyone six months and older get an updated Covid-19 vaccine as cases and hospitalizations are increasing.

“The prevailing notion had been that COVID, Flu, and RSV ruled our lives,” said Dr. Nirav Shah, Principal Deputy Director. “This is the year that we can turn the tables on all three of those respiratory infectious diseases.”

Hershovitz also says an approved RSV vaccine is also available for pregnant women to protect infants.