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Local health officials offer reminders for safe gatherings ahead of Thanksgiving

Heading into Thanksgiving, many people will be gathering with friends and family. While the...
Heading into Thanksgiving, many people will be gathering with friends and family. While the vaccine does mean this year will be safer than last year, local health officials are reminder people to pay attention to their health.(WBAY Staff)
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 11:38 AM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Heading into Thanksgiving, many people will be gathering with friends and family. While the vaccine does mean this year will be safer than last year, local health officials are reminder people to pay attention to their health.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District said this time of year, other respiratory illnesses like the flu and colds are common, so if you don’t feel well, staying home is a good idea.

“You have a potential to spread this to people,” said Kelly Craine, public information officer for the health district. “Families when they gather, you’re talking about generations so it may not be that bad for you, but you could affect someone seriously, whether it’s an older member of your family or even a younger member of your family.”

Craine said getting tested for COVID-19 before traveling or gathering may be something to consider.

“Rapid testing, that’s always a good idea, particularly if you’re not vaccinated,” Craine said. “I think that’s one of the things, is that people who are not vaccinated are not only at greater risk for getting COVID, but also at risk for spreading others.”

Craine said being vaccinated is the best way to prevent spreading COVID-19 to your friends and family. While it’s too late to get vaccinated in time for Thanksgiving, adults can be fully vaccinated in time for Christmas.

Craine said people can take the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and would be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after that.

If people prefer Pfizer or Moderna, Craine said they should get the first shot this week, since there is about a three week wait in between doses.

“Start right now. Think about Christmas,” Craine said. “Think about you know, you only could see your family so many times a year. Your grandmother only makes that special Turkey dressing twice a year. You don’t want to miss it at all. So go ahead, get vaccinated take care of yourself. COVID and flu.”

Craine said it is safe to get your flu and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time, and the health district has all three vaccines and the flu shot available.

If you’re already fully vaccinated, the CDC is recommending booster shots for everyone ages 18 and older.

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