The Upper Missouri District Health Unit is encouraging you to choose to get immunized against respiratory infections this fall.

These could include influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and COVID-19, depending on your age and general health.

There are often increased cases of respiratory infections in the late fall and winter. These viruses caused a significant strain on families and healthcare systems during the 2022–2023 season.

The risk of having a serious illness from respiratory infections is increased among pregnant women, children under five, American Indians, those over 65, and individuals with certain chronic medical conditions. Immunizations are the best strategy to guard against serious sickness from respiratory infections, even though they may not completely prevent all illnesses. Everyone should take immediate action and talk to a reputable healthcare professional regarding immunization.

RSV Protection

For the first time, newborns and people 60 years of age and older can now receive vaccines to protect them against RSV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that each year, RSV causes about 14,000 deaths among older people and 58,000 hospitalizations in kids under five. The RSV vaccine can provide defense against a virus that annually threatens millions of people.

All newborns born before or during the RSV season, which is normally from October to March, as well as children at increased risk of developing severe RSV who are entering their second RSV season, such as highly immunocompromised children and American Indian children, should receive the RSV vaccine.

Infants who receive the RSV vaccine are protected from the virus and hospitalization for roughly one RSV season thanks to a preventative antibody.

Parents and other adults who are responsible for children under the age of one are urged to discuss the RSV vaccine with their dependable healthcare provider.

Flu Protection

Before the end of October, it is advised that everyone in North Dakota aged six months and older receive the influenza vaccine. The time to defend against severe flu is now because influenza activity can rise quickly and because it might take up to two weeks for the vaccination to have full effect.

More than 222,000 hospital admissions due to the flu and 174 pediatric flu-related fatalities occurred in the US during the 2022–2023 flu season.

COVID-19 Protection

New variants are continually being identified, and COVID-19-related hospitalizations are progressively increasing nationally even though COVID-19 incidences, hospitalizations, and deaths are still at historically low levels compared to 2021 and 2022. Everyone aged six months and older is encouraged to get an updated COVID-19 vaccine, which are now widely accessible.

The health unit strongly suggests everyone to speak with their doctor, the neighborhood public health department, or their pharmacist to learn more about the respiratory vaccines that are offered in their region. UMDHU will offer all respiratory immunizations this season.

An average flu vaccination costs $65 and a high-dose flu shot (for those 65 and older) costs $110; payment is due at the time of service. BCBS, Sanford, United Health Care, Medica, Meritain, Medicaid, and Medicare Part B will all be billed by the UMDHU. Be sure to bring your insurance card if you have one.

For more information, please visit our website

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