Protecting Yourself and Your Household from the ‘Tripledemic’ this Winter

With the “tripledemic” of COVID-19, RSV, and the flu this winter, many adults in the United States are taking precautionary measures to protect themselves and their households, such as wearing a mask in public, avoiding large gatherings, traveling less, or avoiding dining indoors at restaurants.[0] The Kaiser Family Foundation’s latest COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor survey finds nearly four in ten (38%) households were affected by one of the three viruses, with nearly half (46%) saying the news of the viruses spreading made them more likely to take at least one protective measure.[1]

The survey also found that many vaccinated adults who are eligible for the updated bivalent booster have not yet gotten it, citing a number of reasons. 51% of people believe they have sufficient protection from their initial COVID-19 vaccine or a past infection with the virus, while 44% feel they do not need the booster. For those who have already received the bivalent booster, more than half (54%) are waiting on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue new guidelines so they can be eligible for another booster.[2]

The FDA vaccine advisers recently voted to harmonize COVID-19 vaccines in the US, with data presented to the committee suggesting an advantage of the new bivalent shots over the original single-strain shots, convincing even skeptics on the panel of their benefits.[1] Groups at higher risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19, including seniors, people with weakened immune systems, and Black and Hispanic adults, were more likely to say that they’ve taken precautionary measures to protect themselves this winter.[3]

At Mass General, an emergency department boarder program was well-established years before the pandemic hit, but hospitals are still about as full as they’ve ever been during the pandemic — at least three-quarters of available beds across the country were in use for all of 2022 — and that doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon.[4] With the news of the viruses continuing to spread, it is important to take the necessary precautions to protect oneself and one’s household. Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of the virus and protect oneself and those around them.

0. “‘Tripledemic' infected nearly 40 percent of households, survey finds” msnNOW, 7 Feb. 2023,

1. “The virus threat is easing, but US hospitals are still full” 4029tv, 6 Feb. 2023,

2. “KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: January 2023” KFF, 7 Feb. 2023,

3. “Despite recent widespread illness in US, Covid-19, flu and RSV are not a concern for most, survey finds – KION546” KION, 7 Feb. 2023,

4. “The virus threat is easing, but US hospitals are still as full as ever | News Channel 3-12” KEYT, 6 Feb. 2023,