SAN ANTONIO – As holiday festivities are approaching and temperatures on the chilly side, the City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) is encouraging the community to take safety measures to stay healthy while preparing for the upcoming celebrations and family gatherings. This includes practicing prevention measures against respiratory illnesses and nourishing the body with healthy nutrition and exercise.
Metro Health provides the following tips for a safe and healthy holiday season:
- Stay up to date with routine vaccinations – For the first time ever, immunizations are available for all three major fall and winter respiratory diseases – flu, COVID-19, and RSV. Whether you choose to get flu, COVID-19, and RSV vaccines during the same visit or at separate visits, it is important for individuals to receive these recommended vaccines to protect themselves against serious illnesses.
- Stay home if you feel sick – To avoid spreading viruses to others, consider skipping gatherings, especially if individuals who are immunocompromised will be present. If you begin to feel sick during a gathering, do not serve any Thanksgiving or holiday meals.
- Monitor symptoms – This includes a fever, cough, chills, headaches, a runny nose, sore throat, muscle or body aches, fatigue, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Consider healthy meals – Metro Health reminds the community that you feel great when you eat well. Individuals, businesses, and community organizations are invited to use resources from Metro Health’s ¡Viva Health! program to promote diverse eating this holiday season. Resources and informational flyers, including healthy eating on a budget, weekly meal planners, infographics, and more, are available on Metro Health’s website.
- Stay active – Make time for physical activity. A few minutes of physical activity can deliver health benefits, such as anxiety reduction and better sleep. Activities can include taking extra steps while you are Christmas shopping, walking and seeing holiday lights, volunteering, or winter hiking.
For people with health insurance, most plans will cover the COVID-19, flu and RSV vaccines at no cost to the individual. For those who don’t have health insurance or have health plans that do not cover the cost, COVID-19 vaccines can be obtained from Metro Health clinics or pharmacies participating in the CDC’s Bridge Access Program. The community can also find providers offering flu and COVID-19 vaccines by visiting Vaccines.gov.
Metro Health also continues to work with community agencies to host pop-up vaccine clinics. A list of available clinics can be found on Metro Health’s website. Individuals can also set an appointment at Metro Health’s Immunization Clinic by calling 210-207-8894.
For any questions regarding recommended vaccines and prevention against respiratory illnesses, individuals are encouraged to consult with a medical professional. Metro Health wishes the community a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season.