This is a sponsored content.
The holidays are here! Cold and flu season is in full swing. COVID isn’t gone. Many people travel to see relatives during the holidays, interacting with a lot of people and giving respiratory viruses opportunities to spread rapidly.
“Get vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Lisa DiFedele, MPH, infection prevention control administrator at ICHS. “Vaccination is your greatest protection against respiratory diseases, including while traveling and gathering with family and friends. If you do get sick, vaccines will make your illness less severe.”
Prevent getting sick leading up to the event
- Make sure you are up to date on your vaccinations. Each of us plays a role in slowing and preventing the spread of viral respiratory infections, including flu and COVID-19. Like hand hygiene and wearing masks, vaccination is a critical tool in our infection control toolbox.
- Don’t get infected en route. Wearing masks in public will reduce the chances of getting sick.
- Air the place out, especially in tight spaces. If you’re driving for an hour with a person who can’t afford to get COVID, RSV, or any other serious virus, keep the air moving. You’d be surprised how simply opening the window occasionally for a couple of minutes (even just part way), can make a tremendous impact on ventilation and air quality.
Reduce spreading viruses at the event
- Consider testing yourself 48 hours before the event.
- You can order tests from the government here.
- Do antigen tests expire? Expiration ranges from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the brand. The date on the box may be incorrect, as the FDA later extended dates. Here is an updated list.
- If you have symptoms or a positive test, assume you’re contagious. Do not go to the event.
Get your COVID-19 vaccine quickly and conveniently
- ICHS clinic pharmacies are administering the 2023-2024 Pfizer (COMIRNATY) monovalent COVID-19 vaccine to adolescents and adults (ages 12 and older) on a walk-in basis.