This post is sponsored by Baptist Health South Florida.
The holidays feel so much brighter this year, don’t they? With the availability of COVID vaccines and booster shots–which weren’t widely available this time last year–many of us are looking forward to holiday travel and gatherings. But with the start of flu season and flare-ups of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the US and abroad, it’s important to plan ahead so that you can protect your family this holiday season. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Domestic, International & Cruise Ship Travel
Whether you’re planning to travel domestically, internationally, or on a cruise ship during the holidays, be sure to check current COVID-19 travel recommendations and restrictions from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC also provides current data on COVID transmission in the US as well as up-to-date travel recommendations by destination.
COVID & Flu Vaccines
Both COVID-19 and flu weaken your immune system, and can actually make someone more susceptible to contracting the other virus. But vaccines make a difference! COVID and flu vaccines are safe and effective when it comes to protecting yourself and your loved ones. Dr. David Mishkin, medical director of Telehealth for Baptist Health Care on Demand with Baptist Health South Florida, recently said “We’re advising patients that it’s really important to get their influenza vaccine as well as their COVID shots. We’re starting to see a little bit of an increase in influenza exposure right now. That’s because people are somewhat backing off a little bit from those pandemic precautions with the masks and social distancing. If precautions are taken and people get their flu shots, hopefully, the flu numbers won’t be as bad as they were before the pandemic.”
Don’t Let COVID-19 or the Flu Ruin Your Holidays
The Baptist Healthtalk podcast recently aired an episode titled Don’t Let COVID-19 or the Flu Ruin Your Holidays about precautions families should take if they have plans for holiday travel and gatherings. Jonathan Fialkow, MD, deputy medical director and chief of cardiology at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute hosted the podcast. “Preparing to travel during the holiday season can be stressful this year in the middle of a pandemic and flu season,” he said. “Your travel plans may look a little different from years past. Finding the best ways to keep you and your family safe while traveling is extremely important.”
Joining Dr. Fialkow on the podcast were Dr. Mishkin, Sara M. Panella, Pharm D., a clinical pharmacist with Baptist Health, and Jose Llach, DO, medical director of the emergency department at Baptist Health Hospital in Doral. Together, they answered common questions about preparing for holiday travel and gatherings, including:
- If you’ve been vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19, what precautions should you take if traveling during the holidays?
- Are there any recommendations about being exposed to people of various ages when you’re traveling to visit family?
- For people who are going to travel, what are the recommendations regarding the timing of vaccinations?
- What are we recommending for children regarding COVID-19 or the flu prior to traveling?
Baptist Health South Florida
Baptist Health is committed to their mission to improve the health and well-being of individuals and to promote the sanctity and preservation of life in the communities they serve. Their expansive network of service providers, hospitals, and healthcare facilities is accessible and offers world-class care. For more information about Baptist Health, visit their website and follow your go-to health and wellness resource in South Florida on Instagram.