Kevin Lutz, MD, FACP
Sep 1 2023

Last fall and winter we experienced a “tripledemic.” 3 different, serious viruses (influenza, COVID, and RSV) spread rapidly and caused a significant number of illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. 


Medical experts are concerned this may happen again this year. Fortunately, there are now effective vaccines available to combat these 3 serious viruses. Like many viruses, infection rates increase during the colder months. We are all coped up inside together infecting each other then we travel around giving out viruses as well as holiday pies. 

You’ve heard plenty about the COVID and influenza (flu) viruses already. So let’s talk about Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). RSV is a contagious respiratory illness that is most dangerous to young children and elderly people with serious health challenges. While it usually causes a mild cold-like infection, it can cause severe complications including pneumonia and death. Other than symptom reduction, there is no specific treatment for RSV. Among patients 65 years and older, RSV causes 160,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths each year. As is the case with many viral illnesses, it is possible to contract RSV more than once. RSV is highly contagious, so follow the usual efforts to reduce transmission to your family, friends, coworkers, etc. 

Recently, the FDA approved vaccines for RSV. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends adults 60 years and older with serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems, and chronic lung or kidney disease receive a single dose of the RSV vaccine. The vaccine is shown to be moderately to highly effective at preventing pneumonia due to RSV. 

  • The RSV vaccine is now available in our office at no cost to our concierge medical care patients. If you are age 60+ and have diabetes, heart, lung, or kidney disease or a weakened immune system, please schedule a time to come get your RSV vaccine. You can schedule by phone, text (same phone number) or email.
  • Health experts tell us it is OK to simultaneously administer the RSV vaccine with COVID-19 and flu vaccines.
  • A new formulation of the COVID vaccine is coming soon. Keep in mind the newer variants of the COVID virus are all closely related so we expect the new version of the vaccine to offer protection against both the current and emerging strains. Plan on getting this updated dose as soon as it is available at your retail pharmacy.
  • The CDC recommends everyone six months and older receive the flu vaccine now. If you’re reading these words, you qualify for the flu shot. This is also available for free to our concierge medical care patients.

Wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, and keep your distance if you are ill. We will get through this together.