Three keys to preparing your family for the fall and winter virus seasonVirtual care · Sep 21, 2022
Fall brings with us a change in seasons, but also the important milestone of going back to school, and the start of cold, flu, and COVID-19 season.
Especially during a time of health system strain, here are three steps you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy throughout the virus season ahead.
1. Stay up to date on your COVID-19 virus protection.
The COVID-19 vaccines are our most important layer of protection against severe COVID-19, and also help protect our loved ones during a seasonal wave. As of this fall, there are new COVID-19 boosters aimed at both the original strain and the Omicron variant. There is talk of having an updated COVID-19 vaccine campaign as we have for the flu, year over year. For now, it is still smart to stay current on the doses recommended for you.
2. For parents, now is the time to think about protecting our kids against COVID-19.
COVID-19 is not just ‘the flu’ for kids. Although children usually have mild symptoms, and can spread infection to loved ones, they can get very sick from COVID-19, and even develop long COVID symptoms lasting weeks or months. Vaccine programs in general, including the pediatric vaccine for COVID-19, help our kids grow into healthy adults.
For parents or caregivers of children over six months old still waiting to book their vaccine visit, now is the time. Especially for kids going back to school or daycare, protection will help our kids be kids during the fall and winter ahead. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines for children from the Canadian Paediatric Society, and how to prepare for a vaccine visit.
3. Update your protection against other seasonal viruses, like the flu.
As we move indoors, we can also expect other seasonal viruses to come back. Like the COVID-19 virus, other viruses such as the flu are highly contagious, especially indoors. The annual flu shot reduces your chances of getting sick from the flu and protects those close to you. It is recommended for everyone over six months of age, with young children and older adults especially at risk from severe flu. Learn more about the flu.
Through these key steps, we can make sure our loved ones are well-protected for the fall and winter virus season ahead.
Have questions about your health, updating your immune protection, mental health through the winter, or anything else on your mind? Speak with one of our trusted health professionals anytime you need to, anywhere in Canada.
Dr. Dominik Nowak is a family doctor and health leader. As Chief Medical Advisor at TELUS, Dr. Nowak bridges disciplines with health, community, and business leaders toward a health system that is more kind, caring and careful. He is also a faculty member in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto.