“Despite the introduction of improved RSV vaccines for older and pregnant individuals, as well as the effectiveness of revised COVID and flu boosters, vaccination rates for all three infections are still low.”
Respiratory viruses, such as Covid, flu and RSV, are on the rise across the US, leading to an increase in hospitalizations. As a result, some healthcare systems have reinstated mask mandates and limited visitation policies. Health officials are warning that hospital capacity could become overwhelmed if the trend continues.
Despite the introduction of improved RSV vaccines for older and pregnant individuals, as well as the effectiveness of revised Covid-19 booster shots and flu boosters, vaccination rates for all three infections are still low.
CDC Recommends Increase in Vaccine Administration
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended healthcare providers to increase the administration of vaccines in order to prevent the possibility of severe respiratory illness and to reduce the strain on healthcare capacity, especially after the holiday gatherings.
Recent research suggests that the updated Covid-19 booster shots provide effective protection against the variants currently in circulation.
This flu season, approximately 44% of adults have received flu shots. However, only around 17% of Americans eligible for the updated Covid-19 vaccine have received it, with just one in three nursing home residents being up-to-date with their vaccination.
Only 17% of adults aged 60 and above have received the new RSV vaccine, while access to Beyfortus, the highly effective treatment to prevent RSV among infants, remains limited.
Hospital admissions for COVID-19 have increased by 20.4% compared to the previous week. Similarly, the number of deaths due to COVID-19 has increased by 12.5% during the same period. The last full data set from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that more than 1,600 individuals died from COVID-19 in the week ending on December 9th.
The concentration of Covid in wastewater has reached its highest level since January 2022, when the CDC began monitoring the virus in wastewater due to the emergence of Omicron, according to the agency’s data.