COVID Cases Continue To Rise as Nation Awaits Updated Vaccine

2 min read

Aug. 22, 2023 – COVID-19 metrics keep ticking up, as the calendar counts down toward the end of September, when an updated vaccine is expected to be made available. 

Weekly hospitalizations for the virus are up 22%, and deaths are up 8%, according to CDC data for the week ending Aug. 12. While 12,613 new hospital admissions is relatively low, compared to this time last year, it is twice the number that hospitals reported at the end of June. The uptick of COVID activity has captured the attention of nearly half the nation, according to a recent Ipsos-Axios poll that showed 46% of people said they were concerned.

Public health experts are eager to talk about autumn vaccines, particularly after last fall’s “tripledemic” that overwhelmed some hospitals amid a surge of flu, RSV, and COVID.

The CDC recommends that most people get a flu shot in September or October. The agency is expected in the coming weeks to recommend whether the COVID and flu shots should be given together, The New York Times reported.

Getting the vaccines in early fall is meant to ensure people are protected by the time the viruses are circulating more widely during the colder months. Last year, the flu surged earlier than normal, peaking in November. 

Experts told CNBC that people should consider getting the updated COVID vaccine as soon as it’s available, and for most people, it’s probably safe to wait until the end of September, when the new vaccine is expected to come out. 

“Some of us may get impacted, but I don’t expect us to see a huge wave in a short period of time between now and the next month or two,” Mark Mulligan, MD, director of the NYU Langone Vaccine Center, told CNBC.