BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — With the holidays around the corner doctors advise that now is the time to get your vaccinations.
Cameron County Health Authority Dr. James Castillo urges the community to get their vaccinations to protect themselves against the flu, COVID-19, and even the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) which can be a serious risk to some people.
“For people with chronic lung problems or who are frail in general, it can lead to death,” said Dr. Castillo.
Castillo said RSV is most often associated with children or infants, but can also be serious to those over age 60 who suffer from chronic illnesses. It can lead to pneumonia, asthma, or lung disease.
“There hasn’t been a vaccine available before. Now there is for those patient populations. So this is one more tool that can be used,” he said.
The number of cases for RSV has slowly been increasing in Texas with nearly 200 positive cases in just the last week alone. Castillo said the vaccination is also available for pregnant women to protect their babies before they are born.
“The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology is also recommending it for women in their, I believe third trimester right towards the end of their pregnancy, because that’ll help protect the infant with the maternal antibodies after they’re born,” he said.
The flu shot has been available since last month and with the holidays around the corner, Castillo said now is the time to get vaccinated.
“September and October is definitely the time to get that protection against the flu leading into the flu season. So now is a really good time to go and get that vaccine,” Castillo said.
You can get vaccinated at your local pharmacist but Castillo advises people to speak with their doctor before getting the RSV vaccine.
“Now there are three tools they could be using to protect themselves going into this season to reduce their risk of ending up in the hospital. So definitely take advantage of all of those tools to reduce your risk of getting that sick,” Castillo added.