MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is encouraging Alabamians to ask their doctors about the flu shot and other vaccines. They’re calling it the “Ask Me” campaign.

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As it starts to get colder outside and people spend more time indoors, health officials say that’s when you need to watch out for respiratory illnesses like the flu, COVID-19 and RSV.

For the first time, there are vaccines available for all three of those, thanks to recent approval of the RSV vaccine.

“These vaccines, their main effect is taking it from wild to mild,” Dr. Wesley Willeford, Medical Director of Disease Control with the Jefferson County Department of Health, said. “We want to make sure that you don’t have a really bad go at it.”

He said the state has seen more RSV in recent years, so it’s worth considering especially for older groups, pregnant women and infants.

For others, he said it’s a good idea to get a flu shot and the updated COVID-19 vaccine.

“Really, you just never know when that infection is going to hit someone and be very devastating, so the best thing you can do is have as much protection as you can going into this season,” Willeford said.

Right now, though, there’s not much activity in Alabama.

ADPH Dr. Wes Stubblefield said COVID is trending down, and there is minimal flu and RSV. Based on CDC modeling, he expects this will be a traditional season for respiratory illnesses, with peaks in the winter.

“That’s why we recommend getting the shots in September, October is because within two weeks you should have good protection, that’s when antibody response is stable, and you should have protection that lasts you through the traditional season up until early spring,” Stubblefield said.

Stubblefield said all three of those shots can be given at the same time, just talk to your doctor.