Doctors Urge Vaccinations as Respiratory Viruses Circulate Ahead of Holiday Season

Health officials across the Chicago area are urging people to get vaccinated ahead of the colder weather, especially with cases of RSV and the flu rising. “This ‘tripledemic’… what we’re calling it right now involves three viruses,” explained Dr. Geraldine Luna, medical director for the Chicago Department of Public Health. Respiratory viruses such as the flu, RSV and COVID-19 are “spreading rapidly” across Illinois, the state’s Department of Public Health said earlier this week. “Right now we are in the midst of an emergency a crisis,” Luna stated. “It’s nationwide with shortages, we’re talking about our children.” Doctors say preventative measures are key when it comes to protection, especially with Thanksgiving less than two weeks away. On Saturday, CDPH held a vaccination clinic at Truman College, offering shots to help people get protected. “We got our COVID boosters,” stated Amy Rosenquist, who attended the clinic. “I made it a priority. I do have four kids, one is developmentally disabled.” Rosenquist said her family caught the delta variant of COVID-19 last fall and hopes booster shots will prevent a repeat. “We traveled last November and we all got delta…” she stated. “All of December we were out. And now we’re traveling again, and we are not going to repeat that.” When it comes to COVID, Chicago and six surrounding counties have been elevated to a “medium” risk level, following increases in metrics such cases and hospitalizations. Additionally, Illinois is already reporting “high” flu activity, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control Prevention. As winter nears, some people are urging others to do their part and prevent the spread. “Wear your mask, do not forget to wear your mask, please,” said Alexandra White, who attended Saturday’s vaccination clinic. “And stay at home if you’re sick!” CDPH is offering several vaccinations also the city where residents can get both COVID and flu vaccines. While reservations can be made online, walk-ins are also accepted.

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