PORTLAND, Maine — Doctors in Maine said rates of pediatric cases of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, are rising in the state earlier than expected this year, matching a nationwide trend.
With flu season ramping up, doctors worry they could be facing a "tripledemic": COVID-19, flu, and RSV.
Maine doctors said they're hearing a concerning rumor from patients -- that getting a COVID-19 vaccine or a flu shot predisposes someone to getting the respiratory virus RSV.
Does getting a COVID-19 vaccine or a flu shot predispose someone to getting the respiratory virus RSV?
- Mary Ottolini, M.D., chair of pediatrics for the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital.
- Dr. Kathryn Rutledge, pediatric inpatient physician and president of the medical staff at Eastern Maine Medical Center.
No, there is no evidence that shows COVID-19 or flu vaccines predispose kids to RSV.
WHAT WE FOUND:
"It may just be that we're getting over the worst of it right now, but right around the corner is the flu," Dr. Ottolini said. "It just happens to be a coincidence. RSV is going around right now. You're not going to increase the risk of your child getting RSV by getting them immunized."
Dr. Rutledge said that going to get a shot could be a potential exposure point – just like any crowded space.
"You're more likely to get exposed to things. I don't think the doctor's office is a huge exposure risk, but it might be for some families with very small children," Dr. Rutledge said.
She added there is no cause-and-effect relationship between getting a COVID-19 or flu vaccine and contracting RSV.
Doctors advise parents and kids to avoid crowded places to limit exposure risk.