Caregivers Get Your Booster and Flu Vaccinations Before Holiday Gatherings


Caregivers Get Your Booster and Flu Vaccinations before holiday gatherings

As we enter the winter holiday season, I recommend that you get your COVID booster and seasonal flu vaccinations before anticipated family and holiday gatherings. Family gatherings have proved to be a leading vector for the spread of the COVID virus. As we wrestle with the more contagious Delta variant and as we are learning more about the Omicron variant, caution is advisable.

If you are a family or professional caregiver, plan to get your individual COVID booster and seasonal flu vaccination as early as possible. If you are in charge of the care of others, make sure to schedule their COVID booster and flu vaccinations. Protect yourself, your household, and those you provide care.

The Delta and Omicron variants continue to make headline news as we enter the winter months of this extended pandemic. We urge family and professional caregivers to be proactive in protecting themselves and those in their care. In the colder states, especially like Missouri, we enter into possible twindemic territory.

For those of us who got our COVID vaccinations earlier this year, the time has come for most of us to consider getting our boosters. I encourage you to not delay in obtaining the booster. The CDC and the FDA recently approved the booster vaccine for all adults over 18 years of age. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines initial effective decreases from over 90% to around 70% after 5 months. The booster increases the effectiveness of over 90% again.

We have always dealt with the seasonal flu, but as we enter into the second winter dealing with the extended pandemic, we are seeing a swing upwards in our COVID infection numbers right as we enter the holiday season. I personally know of more individuals that have been infected over the last several weeks, than I did in 2020 before the availability of a vaccine.

Peak seasonal flu season is from November to March. Physicians across the United States recommend that our seniors and compromised persons get vaccinated every year for the seasonal flu. Physicians believe that the flu shot provides protection to individuals from this seasonal malady. If you have not personally considered a flu shot in the past, this year may be the year to reconsider.

Flu shots and booster vaccinations can be obtained throughout the St. Louis area from various locations, including your doctor’s office, urgent care centers, local drug stores, such of CVS and Walgreens. I got my seasonal flu shot and COVID booster at my local CVS four weeks ago. It was easy to schedule an appointment on-line.

In the St. Louis region there are numerous health care organizations offering free COVID vaccinations, boosters and seasonal flu shot. A list of locations is provided below.

If you are caring for a person who is more than sixty-five (65) years in age, there is a special flu vaccine available that provides additional protection. I got that one this year. Additionally, make sure your senior has gotten their shingles and pneumonia vaccines. I am over sixty-five (65) yearsold and I have gotten both vaccines!

As we enter the winter holiday season, I recommend that you plan and are thoughtful about anticipated family gatherings. Are there family member attending who are not vaccinated? Are the family members attending cautious about their exposure or reckless? Consider how your family can social distance within the home? How can you arrange and space your indoor dining? Will everyone wear a mask? Is the weather inviting enough to socialize outdoors?

Let’s make every effort to keep everyone safe during this holiday season. Start with getting your booster and your seasonal flu shot!

Vaccines & Immunizations | Immunization Schedule | CVS Pharmacy

COVID-19 Vaccine: FAQs & Distribution Information | Walgreens

Covid Vaccine | Find A Vaccine (

COVID-19 – St. Louis County Website (

COVID-19 Vaccine Information (

Tips to help protect Seniors from the Delta Variant

Gretchen Curry, MSPH