Plan ahead for a healthy fall

Plan ahead for a healthy fall

If you subscribe to the adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, then please read on. Preventative measures are highly recommended when talking about wellness and well-being and public health.  

Below are preventative measures to consider, as well as updates to several vaccines, based on information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Physical Wellness 

  • Improving your ability to manage illness when you do contract an infection is one of your first lines of defense. The Wellness & Well-Being page provides resources on making impactful changes in your life. Physical Wellness emphasizes healthy eating, movement and reducing unhealthy behaviors for your optimal health. 
  • To stay physically healthy, the Student Fitness Center on the McNichols Campus is free for all Detroit Mercy students, faculty and staff from all Detroit Mercy campuses. Guests of students, faculty, and staff will have a $5 fee.
  • Find out more about fitness classes, personal training, URec Adventure Series and intramural sports, or simply walk the track with a colleague on your lunch break. University or student ID is required. 

Vaccine-Related Updates 

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

  • RSV was a hot topic last year as being associated with the “tripledemic,” meaning RSV, COVID-19 and flu. RSV can have serious effects on older adults. In May 2023, the first RSV vaccines for adults 60 years and older were FDA-approved to prevent lower respiratory disease caused by RSV.  
  • Abrysvo, manufactured by Pfizer, and Arexvy, manufactured by GSK, are both shown to prevent respiratory syncytial virus in older adults. The vaccine should be received under “shared clinical advisement,” meaning that you and your medical provider should discuss if this would be beneficial to you. 


  • For fall 2023, the FDA, with support of the CDC, recommended an update to the COVID-19 vaccine composition to that of a monovalent, Omicron XBB.1.5 variant-based vaccine. In the United States, Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax will manufacture the vaccine, with anticipated availability in late September to early October. Details and data for that determination can be found here.   
  • There is also an expected change in language relating to the vaccine schedule. The term “booster” is likely to go away in favor of encouraging individuals to receive an annual vaccine to support prevention against COVID-19.   


  • The 2023-24 season U.S. flu vaccines will be updated with an H1N1 component for egg-based vaccines and cell-based or recombinant vaccines.  
  • The recommended timing of flu vaccination has not changed. September and October are the best times for most people to get vaccinated. Flu vaccination in July and August is considered for specific groups, such as: 
    • For adults, especially those 65 years old and older, and pregnant individuals in the first or second trimester. 
      • Pregnant individuals in their third trimester can get a flu vaccine in July or August in order to ensure their babies are protected from flu after birth, when they are too young to get vaccinated. 
    • Children who need two doses of flu vaccine should get their first dose of vaccine as soon as vaccine becomes available. The second dose should be given at least four weeks after the first. 
    • Vaccination in July or August can be considered for children with healthcare visits during these months, if there won’t be another opportunity for later vaccination in September or October.

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)

  • These viruses are highly contagious and can be spread through the air and pass from person to person. Although this vaccine is known for being administered in childhood, it is recommended that adults with no evidence of immunity should get one dose of MMR vaccine. Evidence of immunity would be a documented receipt of one dose of live measles virus-containing vaccine (or two doses, if high risk) or laboratory evidence of immunity or laboratory confirmation of disease. High-risk individuals are recommended to receive two doses, given four weeks apart. High risk people include school-age children, healthcare personnel, international travelers and students in higher education. It is presumed that if you were born before 1957, you likely have immunity to these viruses; however, this is not a guarantee.  
  • You can search titer, immunity or antibody testing to find a location near you that will provide this test. Insurance may not cover the cost of testing. 

Please reach out to University Wellness Coordinator Joelyn Beaver with questions on this information at 313-418-8525 or Additionally, the Wellness & Well-Being page can connect you with university and outside resources related to improving your health.