As the holiday season approaches and temperatures drop, the City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) is urging residents to prioritize their health and take necessary precautions. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential to protect ourselves and our loved ones while preparing for celebrations and family gatherings.
One of the key recommendations from Metro Health is to stay up to date with routine vaccinations. This year, for the first time ever, immunizations are available for all three major fall and winter respiratory diseases – flu, COVID-19, and RSV. It’s crucial for individuals to receive these recommended vaccines to safeguard against serious illnesses.
Another important preventive measure is to stay home if you feel sick. By avoiding gatherings and interactions with others, especially if individuals who are immunocompromised will be present, we can help prevent the spread of viruses. If you experience symptoms during a gathering, it’s essential to refrain from serving meals to avoid further transmission.
Monitoring symptoms is equally important. Keep an eye out for common signs of respiratory illnesses, including fever, cough, chills, headaches, a runny nose, sore throat, muscle or body aches, fatigue, vomiting, or diarrhea. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is essential to seek medical attention and get tested if necessary.
Maintaining a healthy diet is not only beneficial for overall well-being but can also strengthen the immune system. Metro Health emphasizes the importance of considering healthy meals during the holiday season. The ¡Viva Health! program offers free resources and informational flyers on their website, including tips for diverse eating on a budget, weekly meal planners, infographics, and more.
In addition to nutrition, staying active is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. Engaging in physical activity, even if it’s just a few minutes each day, can reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. Incorporate exercise into your holiday routine, whether it’s by taking extra steps while you’re shopping, walking to see the festive lights, volunteering, or going for winter hikes.
For those with health insurance, most plans cover the cost of COVID-19, flu, and RSV vaccines. However, for individuals without insurance coverage, Metro Health clinics and participating pharmacies in the CDC’s Bridge Access Program offer COVID-19 vaccines at no cost. Information on providers offering flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be found on the Vaccines.gov website.
Additionally, Metro Health is collaborating with community agencies to host pop-up vaccine clinics throughout the city. To stay updated on available clinics, visit Metro Health’s website or call 210-207-8894 to schedule an appointment at the Immunization Clinic.
If you have any questions regarding recommended vaccines and preventive measures against respiratory illnesses, it’s always best to consult with a medical professional. Metro Health wishes everyone in the community a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Are the vaccinations for flu, COVID-19, and RSV available separately or together?
The vaccinations for flu, COVID-19, and RSV can be received either during the same visit or at separate visits. It’s essential to get these recommended vaccines to protect yourself against serious respiratory illnesses.
2. What should I do if I feel sick during a gathering?
If you begin to feel sick during a gathering, it is important to avoid serving any Thanksgiving or holiday meals to prevent the spread of viruses to others. Instead, prioritize your health and seek medical attention as needed.
3. Where can I find resources for healthy eating during the holiday season?
Metro Health’s ¡Viva Health! program offers various resources, including healthy eating on a budget, weekly meal planners, and informative flyers, on their website. Visit the Metro Health website to access these helpful materials.
4. Can I get the COVID-19, flu, and RSV vaccines for free without health insurance?
For individuals without health insurance or with plans that do not cover the cost, COVID-19 vaccines can be obtained at no cost from Metro Health clinics or participating pharmacies in the CDC’s Bridge Access Program. Most health insurance plans cover the cost of these vaccines for those who are insured.
5. How can I stay updated about pop-up vaccine clinics in San Antonio?
To stay informed about available pop-up vaccine clinics in San Antonio, visit Metro Health’s website. They regularly update the list of clinics, or you can contact them directly at 210-207-8894 to schedule an appointment at the Immunization Clinic.