(CTN News) – The 2023-2024 COVID-19 Vaccine (mRNA) vaccine has been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for individuals aged six months and above.
It is highly recommended for those who are at a higher risk of developing complications from the virus, such as older adults, individuals with weakened immune systems, chronic medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease, and young children.
If you are young and healthy, getting vaccinated may not be as crucial for you, but it is still advisable if you live with someone in the high-risk category or want to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19.
In terms of protection, the vaccine poses little to no harm and is highly recommended. The risks associated with the vaccine are significantly lower than those of COVID-19 for most of the population.
While the vaccine may not prevent all cases of COVID-19, it is designed to decrease the severity of the illness, hospitalizations, and deaths caused by the virus.
It is important to note that even if you have been vaccinated or previously infected, getting the updated COVID-19 vaccine is crucial as immunity decreases over time and the virus can mutate. By getting the updated vaccine, you are safeguarding yourself against the current circulating strains and promoting immune innovation.
The 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer have been developed to target a different strain of COVID-19 compared to the original vaccine.
Similar to influenza vaccines, which protect against different flu strains each year, the updated COVID-19 vaccine is designed to target the XBB.1.5 strain that has been spreading globally since the beginning of 2023.
The World Health Organization has identified XBB.1.5 as the most contagious omicron strain to date. As of now, the updated vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine available, rendering the older vaccines obsolete.
To safeguard yourself from COVID-19, it is advisable to prioritize getting sufficient rest and physical activity. It is also recommended to steer clear of densely packed indoor areas and wear a mask if you are unable to avoid such situations.
In case you fall ill, it is crucial to wear a mask to protect those around you and stay at home to prevent exposing individuals at your workplace and other places. Additionally, it is possible to receive both the COVID-19 and flu vaccines simultaneously.
However, it is important to note that testing is the only way to differentiate between symptoms of flu, cold, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), or COVID-19 Vaccine.