The Wright Center Offers Updated Vaccines To help people guard against a potential triple threat of respiratory infections this fall and winter, The Wright Center for Community Health is offering access to newly updated vaccines for flu, RSV and the latest COVID-19 strain. “The vaccines are safe and effective, and they offer our best defense against these ‘seasonal viruses’ that can be extremely serious, even fatal, for very young children and other vulnerable populations,” says Dr. William Dempsey, deputy chief medical officer of The Wright Center for Community Health. To schedule an office visit that includes a vaccination, call 570-230-0019 or go online to use the express scheduling system at TheWrightCenter.org. Please note, shipments of the most recently approved COVID-19 vaccine are not expected to arrive at The Wright Center’s primary and preventive care practices in Northeast Pennsylvania until the week of Sept. 18. Here’s what to know about the availability at The Wright Center of each vaccine product. Flu vaccines. Updated flu vaccines for the 2023-24 winter season are in stock at all of the health center’s primary care practices in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wayne counties. Health officials recommend annual flu shots for everyone 6 months and older, with few exceptions. Experts advise that people in the United States get vaccinated between now and Halloween for maximum protection during the winter holidays when influenza cases tend to spike. All flu vaccines available in the U.S. for this season are the quadrivalent variety, meaning they are designed to protect against four different flu viruses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). RSV vaccines. Earlier this year, federal health officials approved two vaccines for use in people ages 60 and older to prevent respiratory syncytial virus, known as RSV. The Wright Center currently has the Pfizer-manufactured vaccine, Abrysvo, in stock at all of its practices to administer to seniors who decide, in consultation with a health care provider, if the shot is appropriate for them. Adults most likely to benefit from the vaccine include those living in long-term care facilities and those who have underlying health conditions, such as heart or lung disease or weakened immune systems. The new RSV vaccines for seniors might require a prescription from a doctor, according to published reports, and its cost may vary based on the patient’s health insurance plan. Some plans might not pay for the shot. Anyone concerned about coverage should reach out to their insurance company for guidance. COVID-19 vaccines. As shipments arrive of the most recently approved COVID-19 vaccine, which is effective against the now-dominant EG.5 strain, The Wright Center will release additional public announcements. Watch for details to be shared soon via the health center’s website and social media channels. Guidance about staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines and proper dosing is available on the CDC’s website. If you have questions about any vaccine, talk with your primary care physician or another trusted health care provider. The clinical team at The Wright Center is available to provide fact-based advice and proven strategies for coping with respiratory viruses and other issues that affect health and wellness. Learn more about The Wright Center’s mission and integrated health care services by visiting TheWrightCenter.org.