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It won’t be decided until September 12th, but when the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meets, there’s a strong possibility that this winter it will be recommended U.S. adults over age 60 receive three separate vaccinations. That’s right! The ACIP is considering recommending three vaccines this year instead of the usual single-dose influenza vaccination. 

The Three Vaccines are:

     Flu Vaccine — what strains are given depends on this year’s outbreak in the Southern


     COVID-19 Vaccine — Novavax vs. Pfizer-BioNTech (see below)*

     Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) — FDA approved for adults 60 years and older 

Novavax is biotech company that focuses on vaccine development. Their COVID-19 protein-based (not mRNA) vaccine recently received emergency use authorization from the FDA, and is recommended for patients who cannot, or refuse to, take an mRNA vaccine. 

So, this Fall there is a very good chance seniors will receive three shots. RSV is not yet included in the CDC’s annual vaccine schedule, but it is expected to be added. Medicare Part D covers RSV vaccine but some private insurers do not. The cost is about $330, and that alone may be a deterrent for a lot of non-Medicare patients. 

It is recommended that seniors receive all three vaccines at the same time. However, there is no combination preparation so patients will get three shots. It is recommended they all be given together for the sake of convenience, but the safety of this practice has not been established. It’s ok, however, to take flu and RSV together and flu and COVID-19 together, but all 3 have not been given at once until now. 

September and October are the optimal months to receive all three shots. There is a surge in cases and hospitalizations currently, but the numbers are expected to be even greater this winter. 

  • Pfizer BioNTech vs. Novavax vaccinations are both good vaccines. Both provide “a solid first line of defense (neutralizing antibodies) and strengthen a solid second line of defense (T-cells).” But the immunity generated by Novavax waned less quickly and side effects were less. Myocarditis was seen with both mRNA and Novavax vaccines. 

Check back with DrGOpines.com after September 12. We’ll hope to have an update for you, then. 

References: Jetelina K. “Your Local Epidemiologist: Your top 7 questions about Fall vaccines answered. 2023 August 29.


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