If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
Yes, though how much to budget is still very much up in the air. The US government expects its supply of COVID vaccines, boosters, and antivirals to run out in 2023, at which point they’ll be for sale on the commercial market. Vaccines and boosters are expected to run out by January, so your 2023 budget should absolutely include booster doses. And the White House’s newest messaging will likely be focused on annual COVID and Flu shots beginning next year.
While the majority of this outbreak in the US has been with people who have sex with men within the LGBTQ+ community, it’s very plausible for the virus to spread to different communities. In the 2000s, MRSA, a drug-resistant bacterial infection, was first noticed among gay men, but ultimately ended up being most prevalent in athletes and hospital patients. The same thing that caused it to spread easily in the gay community also caused it to spread easily in the locker room of the St. Louis Rams. If the US case rates follow the patterns of Europe and we start to get this virus under control, there’s a chance it never spreads to a different population. But there’s nothing inherent in the virus that makes it unique to men who have sex with men.
Yes! We expect that the CDC will recommend an Omicron-specific booster to everyone ages 12 and up, and if you’re eligible, we highly recommend that you get boosted as soon as possible. While last year’s Omicron surge peaked just after the holidays, the Delta surge happened at this time of year - back to school and early fall. While we don’t know exactly how long you’re protected, we generally think it’s best to go out there and get a booster as soon as the CDC gives you the green light, rather than waiting too much later to extend protection deeper into the winter.
Regardless of whether you’ve had flu shots in the past, it’s very important to get one this year. Our flu season is predicted to be worse than usual because that’s what we’ve seen in the Southern Hemisphere this year, during their winter months. Since we weren’t really exposed to the flu in the past two years, we don’t have that added protection. Combine that with the ongoing stressors to the public health system like COVID, monkeypox, and polio, and we can’t stress enough how crucial it is to get your flu shot. Flu shots are safe, effective, and drastically reduce your chance of severe disease or death.
And if you missed it, don’t forget to listen to our latest podcast where we discuss how to find out if you’re vaccinated against polio, plus fall boosters and more. Listen now!