Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society urges mask use, vaccines ahead of holidays

Massachusetts Medical Society urges mask use, vaccines ahead of holidays

With the holiday season here, the physicians of the Massachusetts Medical Society urge all individuals to exercise caution and make use of proven and effective preventive measures to remain safe, and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, influenza and other contagious respiratory diseases that are causing serious illness driving a strain on our health care system. By taking action, each of us will help reduce the likelihood of illness, now, during and after the holiday season.

COVID-19 is still a serious threat to individual and public health and some patients continue to become very sick after contracting the virus. We recommend that anyone who hasn’t received a COVID-19 vaccine in the last six months – young and old alike - get the updated bivalent vaccine, which is effective in reducing serious illness and death and is available at no cost. We urge anyone with questions about vaccines to speak with their health care provider.

Although the flu season has been especially bad this year, there is still time to receive the flu shot, which is proving to be very effective in reducing the risk of serious illness.

Importantly, we strongly recommend that everyone who gathers indoors, whether symptomatic or not, wear high-quality masks that fit appropriately and stay home when not feeling well.

Taking these actions at this time will help reduce the likelihood of illness and has the potential to improve the strain on our health care system now, during and after the holiday season.

We want everyone to be safe when visiting with family and friends and to use the resources available to protect those with whom you will come in contact. Let’s make this a safe and healthy holiday season for everyone.

-Theodore A. Calianos, II, MD, FACS, President, Massachusetts Medical Society


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