Cases of COVID, the flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are expected to rise this winter, potentially creating a ‘tripledemic.’ Scientists say the pandemic ‘immunity gap’ is probably behind the surge in viruses. Experts advise Americans to get vaccinated against COVID and the flu to prevent their local hospitals from overflowing. RSV vaccines are currently in development and Pfizer has begun studying a combination vaccine for COVID and the flu.

  • COVID-19: Coronavirus-related hospitalizations are rising and at least half a dozen Omicron subvariants are competing to be the next dominant strain in the US. New data from Pfizer suggests that the updated booster provides four times stronger protection against more recent Omicron variants than the original vaccine. 
  • The Flu: So far, this flu season has been earlier and more severe than it has been in 13 years, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Inequities have been found in flu vaccine uptake. Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous adults are more likely to be hospitalized with the flu and less likely to be vaccinated against it.
  • RSV: RSV is a common respiratory virus that can be serious for young children and older adults. Children’s hospitals are being overwhelmed by the nationwide surge in RSV cases. The unusually early and drastic spike in RSV cases has increased wait times and is straining health care resources.