PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — School is open. Fall is nearly here. It’s coming up on flu season — and with it a new COVID-19 variant.

Medical professionals are hard at work on fall vaccinations against viruses that circulate in colder weather, indoors and in classrooms. For the first time, people at high risk for respiratory viruses — including RSV — will be able to get protection.

Previous KOIN stories on RSV

Dr. Andy Miller with American Family Care Portland told KOIN 6 News one thing parents should keep in mind is the next round of COVID cases.

“We’re going to know more about the COVID booster shot that’s going to be coming out in late September and early October and the details of that vaccine are still getting finalized as we pay attention to the variants that are going around,” Dr. Miller said.

Everyone age 6 months and older is eligible for a shot this fall.

The Oregon Health Authority monitors COVID-19 activity in the region using COVID testing and wastewater levels. Cases in Oregon have been rising throughout the summer. At this time, 13.6% of tests are coming back positive.

There is more COVID-19 circulating in Oregon than in the spring, but circulation then was at an all-time low. That means the overall transmission of the latest COVID variant is relatively moderate.

OHA — If you test positive for COVID

But there are other back-to-school illnesses hitting students and their families — like RSV and the flu.

Recently, the FDA approved a new kind of immunization to protect babies from RSV. It’s not a vaccine — it’s an monoclonal antibody shot.

“For very young kids the RSV shot has proven to be very helpful,” Dr. Miller said. “For the flu season, we have flu shots that protect against 4 different versions of influenza. So I’m personally a big fan of that shot.”

Experts predict the flu season will come earlier this season. But doctors said these improving protections should give parents some peace of mind.

OHA: Getting vaccines in Oregon

The Oregon Health Authority said COVID will continue to circulate: “We encourage all people in Oregon to remain up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination recommendations to protect themselves and others from severe disease, especially as more people start gathering indoors during the fall season.”

Doctors maintain it is especially important for people who are high risk — including the elderly, pregnant or those with a weakened immune system plus people living in congregate settings — to stay up-to-date with their vaccinations.