Last week, officials at the Arkansas Department of Health provided updated information on vaccines for this season. The CDC recommends adults over the age of 60, especially those with chronic conditions or who are immunocompromised, receive the new RSV vaccine. RSV is a common respiratory virus that most adults recover from without complications. In younger and older people, RSV can become very serious, because their immune system cannot fight it effectively. In some cases, RSV can be more severe than COVID-19. RSV is responsible for 60,000-160,000 hospitalizations and 6,000-10,000 deaths per year in the U.S. Individuals with atrial fibrillation should consult their cardiologist first.
The RSV vaccine can be taken together with flu and COVID shots, however Arkansas health officials recommend taking RSV by itself and take the other vaccines at least 14 days later.
For those who are interested, the new COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be available in mid-to-late September. This is a new formulation to cover the latest variant. The Federal government is no longer paying for the vaccine, although most insurance plans are expected to cover them. While officials are still awaiting final approval and guidance, it is expected that this booster will be available for anyone who has taken a previous COVID vaccine. Only select pharmacies were able to preorder COVID vaccines, including Mitchell’s Park Street Pharmacy locally. For the latest vaccine information, contact your health care provider or Mitchell’s Park Street Pharmacy at 870-297-8107.