Healthier Oklahoma Coalition Gives Update On COVID-19, Flu, RSV

The Healthier Oklahoma Coalition says the flu, RSV, and COVID-19 are still a concern heading into the winter months. With more contagious variants out there, they are expecting to see a rise in cases this season.

Tuesday, October 25th 2022, 5:00 pm


The Healthier Oklahoma Coalition says COVID-19 is still a concern as we head into winter, especially with new variants continuing to pop up.

The coalition says the virus affects people in a lot of different ways, so it's still important people do everything they can to not get infected.

"We're seeing new variants, new subvariants, that are spreading rapidly, there are other subvariants spreading in other parts of the world, that are also very contagious, so whether we'd like to say this is over or not, it's just not," said Dr. Dale Bratzler.

The coalition met Tuesday to discuss the virus as we head into the winter months. With more contagious variants out there, and time passing since people have been vaccinated, they expect cases to rise.

"We know, there have been multiple published studies now that show both after vaccination or after natural infection, your immunity does wain over time and your risk for reinfection or what we call breakthrough infection, increases with time," Bratzler said.

The coalition says there's a concern for kids as winter approaches. They say the state is seeing a wave of severe RSV cases, and they predict a severe flu season, especially in children. Dr. Donna Tyungu says immunizations for kids are low.

"Some families are not wanting to get their measles vaccine, tetanus vaccine, or even the influenza vaccination, which is very concerning," she said.

She says the number of kids under 5 vaccinated against COVID-19 in Oklahoma is very low, and while at the beginning of the pandemic kids weren't as affected by COVID, that's not the case with new variants.

"We still have to take it seriously, even though everyone has moved on, it's not something that we should hang our hat on that this is over yet," she said.


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