BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET)- Doctors in North Dakota are urging people to get ready for another busy flu season. Currently, medical professionals from Sanford Health and CHI St. Alexius are warning people of the latest Covid variant — which the CDC refers to as BA 2.86.
They say people can get sick from it even if they’ve already had COVID-19 and are vaccinated. In addition to the latest COVID shots, this year, hospitals are also offering a vaccine for RSV — short for Respiratory Syncytial Virus. The condition typically includes sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and fevers, and it can put both seniors and babies in the hospital.
“The same M-RNA technology that went into the development of the SARS COV-2 Covid-19 vaccines has been used, and been applied to RSV as well,” states Dr. Noe Mateo with Sanford Health. “Understand that RSV, influenza, and COVID-19 are all RNA viruses, so they’re amenable to that kind of technology in terms of vaccine development.”
Sanford Health tells KX News that the Arexvy (GSK vaccine) and Abrysvo (Pfizer vaccine) were created as traditional vaccines. The Moderna vaccine is the only mRNA-1345 vaccine.
“You’re going to look at the same side effect profile as you would the COVID vaccine,” explains Dr. J’Patrick Fahn from CHI St. Alexius, “or any other vaccines. If you have an allergy to that type of vaccine, you’re not going to want to take it, if you have any contra-indications, you’d want to speak with your own primary care provider about that to make sure you don’t have any contra-indications to receiving the vaccine.”
Bismarck Burleigh Public Health offers free COVID antibody tests, and this Wednesday, Sanford Health in Dickinson will be offering flu shots. Next week, Sanford in Bismarck and Mandan will once again be offering flu shots. Wherever someone is receiving a vaccine, it is recommended that they bring their health insurance cards. You can sign up to receive the new COVID booster or the RSV vaccine at Sanford’s website as well.