Take steps to protect your newborn against respiratory illness.

EXPECTING A BABY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON?

Respiratory illnesses like Flu, COVID-19 and RSV tend to rise as cooler temperatures bring people indoors and people gather for the holidays. Thankfully, there are new tools available this year to help families keep severe illness at bay.

This year’s Flu and COVID-19 vaccines are well-targeted to this season’s variants, and for the first-time ever, there is an RSV vaccine for pregnant women. All three vaccines reduce your chances for severe illness from these respiratory viruses and they also pass along this protection to your newborn for the first six months of life.

There are also steps your family can take to protect you and your new baby. If you are planning to gather with new grandparents season, encourage them to talk with their healthcare providers about also getting vaccinated against RSV. In fact, everyone six months and older is eligible for Flu and COVID-19 vaccines, which can help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses.

In addition to getting vaccinated, healthy habits like washing your hands, covering your cough and staying home when sick will add an effective layer of protection against illness this season. Ask your loved ones to think twice before gathering with you if they are feeling sick.

Bottom line, ask your healthcare provider about getting vaccinated against these respiratory illnesses. Talk to your family members about the importance of following these recommendations this holiday season. And don’t forget to stay home if you are sick.

Ask your healthcare provider about vaccinations that can help protect you and your baby, or visit vaccinate.virginia.gov for more information.

By Virginia Department of Health

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is dedicated to protecting and promoting the health of Virginians. The VDH is made up of a statewide Central Office in Richmond and 35 local health districts. These entities work together to promote healthy lifestyle choices that can combat chronic disease, educate the public about emergency preparedness and threats to their health, and track disease outbreaks in Virginia