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COVID-19, flu and RSV vaccines are all available this fall: See what some doctors recommend and why

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Ever since Americans endured a pandemic, the usual suspects during flu season now include the COVID-19 virus and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

“As we are heading into cold and flu season, there is significant concern for another ‘tripledemic’ with COVID, flu and RSV positivity rising at the same time,” Dr. Katherine Baumgarten, medical director of infection control and prevention for Ochsner Health in New Orleans, Louisiana, told Fox News Digital.

But the possibility of a “tripledemic” may be blunted by an arsenal of vaccines to fight each one for the first time this winter.

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“As a preventative measure, especially for those who are immunocompromised or have underlying health conditions, it is important to receive vaccinations against these viruses ahead of fall and winter,” said Baumgarten.

So what does that mean for you?

Toddler getting vaccine

“As a preventative measure, especially for those who are immunocompromised or have underlying health conditions, it is important to receive vaccinations against these viruses ahead of fall and winter,” one doctor recommended in an interview with Fox News Digital.  (iStock)

Read on to find out how to stay safe this winter season, while understanding that everyone should check in with their own doctor or health care provider to discuss the best options for them based on their individual health conditions.

COVID booster for 2023 is recommended; a reformulated COVID-19 vax is arriving soon

As more people stayed indoors to beat the record summer heat, new COVID-19 variants have been causing a summer wave of COVID-19 infections in part because of Americans’ waning immunity and vaccine fatigue.

Currently the EG.5 variant, a descendant of the omicron nicknamed “Eris,” is the dominant strain in the U.S., responsible for 21.5% of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to the most recent CDC data ending on Sept. 2.

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COVID-19 hospitalizations recently increased by 16% for the week ending Aug. 26, according to the CDC.

“If you haven’t had a COVID booster shot in 2023, I highly recommend you get one as soon as possible.”

Although there have now been seven consecutive weeks of rising numbers, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are approximately half compared at this time last year and nearly five times lower than in 2021.

“If you haven’t had a COVID booster shot in 2023, I highly recommend you get one as soon as possible,” Baumgarten told Fox News Digital. 

doctor with protective visor administers vaccine

A doctor wearing a protective visor and surgical gloves early on in the COVID pandemic is shown injecting a COVID-19 vaccine into a patient’s arm. Health professionals say each person’s situation is different in terms of if and when he or she should be vaxxed — and should be treated accordingly.  (iStock)

“There will be a reformulated COVID-19 vaccination with additional protection becoming available in early October, but you should not wait to get that one.”

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is meeting on September 12 to make recommendations to the CDC regarding updated COVID-19 vaccines. 

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For people who previously had COVID-19, Baumgarten recommends waiting until symptoms are resolved and there’s no longer a need to quarantine before receiving a COVID booster. 

“There will be a reformulated COVID-19 vaccination with additional protection becoming available in early October, but you should not wait to get that one.”

“Someone who recently was vaccinated, unless they fall into the highest risk groups — and it has been 4-6 months since their last vaccination — in general will not need additional vaccination,” Dr. Aaron Glatt, chief of infectious diseases at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital in Long Island, New York, told Fox News Digital. 

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He said each case needs to be treated based on that person’s individual background. 

Flu vaccine is recommended in September or October

“All persons aged 6 months of age and older, with rare exception, are recommended for annual flu vaccination,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on its website.

Generally, the vaccine is 40-60% effective in preventing a doctor’s visit when the vaccine closely resembles the circulating strains, per the CDC.

Older woman receiving vaccine

A nurse administers a flu vaccine to a patient in the hospital. “All persons aged 6 months of age and older, with rare exception, are recommended for annual flu vaccination,” says the CDC.  (iStock)

It’s best to get vaccinated during September and October, experts advise.

This way, you can develop immunity before flu season kicks into high gear, they also say.

RSV monoclonal antibody is recommended for certain infants

RSV, a highly contagious virus that causes lung infections, is responsible for the most hospitalizations of infants in the U.S. during their first year of life.

There is no RSV vaccine for children, but the FDA recently approved two monoclonal antibodies, nirsevimab (Beyfortus) and palivizumab (Synagis), to fight RSV.

Nirsevimab is recommended for infants younger than 8 months who are born during RSV season, which often coincides with flu season from fall to spring.

These antibodies work by providing “passive immunity” by neutralizing the virus before it can cause damage in the body.

Nirsevimab is recommended for infants younger than 8 months who are born during RSV season, which often coincides with flu season from fall to spring.

Baby vaccine

While there is no RSV vaccine for children as of now, the FDA recently approved two monoclonal antibodies, nirsevimab (Beyfortus) and palivizumab (Synagis), to fight RSV. These antibodies work by providing “passive immunity” to neutralize the virus before it can cause damage in the body. (iStock)

Palivizumab is given only to children under 24 months with medical illnesses that place them at high risk for severe RSV disease.

RSV vaccines exist for older adults who should partake in ‘shared decision-making’

Older adults infected with RSV can also develop life-threatening pneumonia and swelling of the small airways in the lungs known as bronchiolitis.

This summer the FDA approved the first two RSV vaccines, Arexvy and Abrysvo, for individuals 60 years of age and older, with Abrysvo also indicated for pregnant women. 

The vaccine provides protection against RSV for at least two winter seasons, per the CDC.

“A certain percentage of patients should be getting the combination of all three vaccines.”

Six people who received RSV vaccines in clinical trials developed inflammatory neurologic events, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, which causes an ascending paralysis of the body.

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Since the cause of these rare events was unclear, the CDC advised “shared decision-making” with people’s health care providers about risks versus benefits of the vaccine.

Can you get all three vaccines at the same time?

The CDC, said Baumgarten, declares that “it is acceptable for adults to receive all three vaccines at the same time.”

But it’s also fine to get the vaccines at different times, she added.

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“I think that a certain percentage of patients should be getting the combination of all three vaccines, COVID, flu, and RSV — and that if there is no alternative, it is acceptable to get them all at the same time,” Glatt told Fox News Digital. 

“That might increase local side effects and possibly even other side effects — but one has to weigh that against the likelihood of them not getting vaccinated at all if you separate them over time,” he said. 

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/covid-19-flu-rsv-vaccines-available-this-fall-see-doctors-recommend-why

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Lifestyle

Sunday brunch frittata featuring garden-fresh vegetables: Try it this weekend for family and friends

For many American families, the arrival of Sunday is the time to slow down a bit, attend church services, catch a sporting event, work around the house or visit with family and friends. 

Another quintessential part of the day for millions of people is enjoying Sunday brunch

If you’re looking to create a budget-friendly Sunday brunch dish with a bit of flair for your family and friends, a chef based in Philadelphia shared his choice pick that you can make at home. 

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Use this shopping list and step-by-step guidance to whip up a tasty homemade Sunday brunch dish without much fuss or muss.

Let’s dig right in!

‘Everything but the Kitchen Sink’ Frittata by Thomas Harkins of Bank & Bourbon, Loews Philadelphia Hotel

If you have leftovers you’re looking to repurpose, this Sunday egg-based dish could be a winner. 

Thomas Harkins, executive chef, Bank & Bourbon — located in the Loews Philadelphia Hotel in Philadelphia — recommended making his “Everything but the Kitchen Sink Frittata.” 

eggs cracked into bowl

You’ll need 12 whole large eggs for this Sunday brunch recipe from Thomas Harkins. To start, whip the eggs in a bowl and set them aside.  (iStock)

He told Fox News Digital that he loves making this on Sundays using leftovers from the night before — and anything from his garden that he has on hand at the time.

Ingredients

12 whole large eggs

2 tablespoons butter

Corn shucked

Tomatoes, medium-diced

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Green beans chopped

Green bell peppers medium-diced

¼ cup salsa, store-bought

Leftover protein, usually steak or chicken or salmon, medium-diced

¼ cup cheese (the chef usually has goat cheese or cheddar cheese on hand)

Different kinds of peppers

This Sunday brunch recipe calls for green bell peppers — as well as other healthy vegetables and ingredients.  (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Directions

In a 10-inch nonstick pan on medium flame, add butter until it melts and coat the pan.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Whip eggs in bowl and set aside.

Add all of the vegetables and the pick of proteins that you have on hand and want to use.

Cook until hot on the stovetop all the way through. 

Add beaten eggs. 

Stir in with mixture to incorporate. 

chef Thomas Harkins

Thomas Harkins is executive chef of Bank & Bourbon at Loews Philadelphia Hotel. The historic hotel is across from the Pennsylvania Convention Center and located in the heart of Center City, within walking distance of the Reading Terminal Market, Independence Hall, Philadelphia Museum of Art and Barnes Foundation, among other popular attractions.  (Loews Philadelphia Hotel)

Place in oven and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until eggs set. 

Add cheese on top and melt. 

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Take out and gently place a 12-inch plate on top and invert it to get the frittata on the plate. 

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Top with your favorite salsa — and cut into 8 pie-shape pieces. 

Enjoy!

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Underage drinking dangers: These are the states with the highest rates of teen alcohol use, study finds

A new study done by addiction recovery resource Addiction Treatment Magazine has revealed the states that have the highest and lowest prevalence of underage drinking.

Researchers looked at the number of young people between the ages of 12 and 20 who had consumed an alcoholic drink within the last month and had participated in binge-drinking, which is classified as consuming four or more drinks in one sitting, according to a press release on the publication’s website.

The data was drawn from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) based on the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

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The study determined that the state of Vermont has the highest prevalence of drinkers between the ages of 12 and 20 in the U.S., according to the release.

Nearly 25% of minors in the state had consumed alcohol, and more than 14% had participated in binge-drinking. 

Teens drinking

A new study has revealed the states in the nation that have the highest and lowest prevalence of underage drinking. (iStock)

Other states with high rates include Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.  

In Rhode Island, nearly 22% of young people between the ages 12 and 20 consume alcohol monthly, and 12% of minors consume four or more alcoholic drinks in one sitting, the study found.

In New Hampshire, 20.6% of people between the ages 12 and 20 had consumed alcohol in the last month. 

The share was 20.4% for Massachusetts. 

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Rounding out the top 10 are the states of Oregon, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, Maine and North Dakota.

At the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi has the lowest prevalence of underage drinking, with only 9.7% of underage people consuming alcohol. 

It also has the lowest binge-drinking rate, at only 5.4%, according to the study. 

College drinking

One possible reason that Vermont has topped the list is that it is a rural state with many colleges and universities — the highest number per capita of any state — said a clinical director of addiction services.  (iStock)

Utah is the second-lowest, at 11% for alcohol consumption and 6.8% for binge-drinking among the underage population. 

Coming in at third lowest is North Carolina, where 11.3% of underage people consumed alcohol in the last month.

Alabama is also on the lower end at 12%, followed by Arkansas at 12.3%.

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Rounding out the lower 10 are Indiana, Georgia, Idaho, Tennessee and Texas. 

“It’s no secret that underage drinking is a major concern in the United States, as it can pose several significant risks to the well-being of young people, including health risks, impaired judgment and the risk of dependency and addiction,” said a spokesperson for Addiction Treatment Magazine in the release.

Teens drinking

Overall, the findings indicate that the use of alcohol in young people continues to be a concern, said Tuell of the Lindner Center of HOPE in Ohio. (iStock)

“These findings provide an intriguing insight into where underage drinking is the most prominent throughout the country, with Vermont coming out on top. While progress has been made in reducing underage drinking rates, it is still a matter of concern, and ongoing efforts are necessary to address this issue and protect the health and safety of young people,” the spokesperson continued.

Dr. Chris Tuell, clinical director of addiction services for the Lindner Center of HOPE in Ohio, was not involved in the study, but said he wasn’t surprised by the findings.

“A parent’s position on underage drinking is paramount and is one of the strongest protective factors against underage drinking.”

“The Northeast has had a history of higher rates of underage drinking for the past 20 years,” he told Fox News Digital in an interview. “There continues to be no definitive reason why these rates are the way they are.”

One possible reason for Vermont’s topping the list, he said, is that it is a rural state with many colleges and universities — the highest number per capita of any state.

young people drinking beer outside

“The research is crystal-clear that early alcohol use before the age of 15 raises the risk of lifelong problems of addiction and alcoholism,” warned Dr. Chris Tuell, clinical director of addiction services for the Lindner Center of HOPE in Ohio.  (iStock)

Overall, the findings indicate that the use of alcohol in young people continues to be a concern, Tuell said.

“The research is crystal-clear that early alcohol use before the age of 15 raises the risk of lifelong problems of addiction and alcoholism,” he warned. 

“Early alcohol use — drinking at age 14 or earlier — [means a] 7 times greater risk for developing an alcohol problem than someone who begins drinking at age 21.” 

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Other possible reasons for the high rates in some states may be related to how the packaging of alcohol is geared toward youth, such as flavored drinks, and the association of alcohol use with sporting events, the expert noted.

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“This promotes alcohol use in young people as a necessary part of having fun,” Tuell said.

“A parent’s position on underage drinking is paramount and is one of the strongest protective factors against underage drinking,” he also said.

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Coffee quiz! How much do you know about the can’t-live-without-it drink?

National Coffee Day is September 29 — and millions of people have recognized the special occasion. 

But no matter what day it is or what season of the year, how well do you know the popular drink that many people consume all year long? 

Test your knowledge in this fun and engaging lifestyle quiz all about coffee!

Mobile app users: Click here to play the quiz!

Have you taken our fall quiz yet? Click here to play it!

To take even more quizzes from Fox News Digital, click on this link.

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