Is it safe to get a flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time? Experts explain

Written by on October 30, 2021

Peak flu season is approaching because the coronavirus pandemic continues, and households throughout the nation are looking out for fevers, congestion and different signs.

As you’re scheduling a flu shot, you may be questioning – can I get vaccinated in opposition to the flu and COVID-19 on the similar time?

Well being officers, docs and different medical suppliers are letting People know that you could safely get your flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine on the similar time.  

“The good information is sure, you may get each vaccines on the similar time or in shut proximity to one another. No matter works finest for you,” Dr. Lisa Maragakis, senior director of an infection prevention for the Johns Hopkins Well being System, instructed USA TODAY.  

Right here’s what you’ll want to know should you’re seeking to get your COVID-19 vaccine and a flu shot on the similar time. 

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Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu shot on the similar time?

In accordance with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you or others searching for the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine can get them throughout the identical go to to your physician’s workplace or pharmacy. That applies whether or not you’re getting your first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, your second dose, or a booster shot.  

Maragakis defined that, when the COVID-19 vaccine was first distributed, officers really helpful that the shot be “separated from different vaccines by two weeks.”  

“However that has since been revised, and now we all know that you could get that vaccine safely together with different vaccines,” she stated.  

Dr. Priya Sampathkumar, head of an infection prevention and management on the Mayo Clinic, instructed USA TODAY that “as we’ve given hundreds of thousands of doses within the U.S., we now know what kind of issues to anticipate from the COVID vaccines.”  

“In order that’s why they’ve modified the advice now to say you may get different vaccines similtaneously the COVID vaccine,” she stated.  

Maragakis famous that youngsters typically have a number of vaccines administered on the similar time on the physician’s workplace. 

“What we all know is that these vaccines, every of them, are actually designed to stimulate the immune system and get an immune response to the substances which are included within the vaccines that assist the physique combat off the person infectious ailments,” she stated.  

“The immune system will get revved up and the 2, or three, nevertheless many vaccines you get on that very same day, substances will form of work alongside separate pathways to show the immune system the best way to combat out that pathogen,” Maragakis added.     

Will the unwanted effects be worse if I get a COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot on the similar time? 

It is determined by the individual. Some folks expertise unwanted effects from the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot.  

However Sampathkumar defined that, should you do expertise unwanted effects like achiness or fatigue from the shot, “getting that over with on the similar time would make extra sense.”  

“Personally, I bought mine on the similar time only in the near past, my booster and my flu shot,” she stated. “You must choose between having these signs for 2 probably 48hour intervals or on the similar time.”  

“As we all know, they’re actually manageable for most individuals,” she added.  

According to the CDC, “doable unwanted effects are typically related whether or not vaccines are given alone or with different vaccines.”  

Sampathkumar suggested that folks shouldn’t let potential unwanted effects sway them from getting each photographs on the similar time.  

“It’s simple to overlook one or the opposite should you resolve to area them aside,” she stated. “That is why while you go in for one, if the opposite one is out there there, we suggest that you simply get it on the similar time. With the most effective of intentions, it’s possible you’ll plan to return at one other time, however life will get in the way in which.”  

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Do I must get a flu shot?  

Consultants say it’s particularly necessary to get a flu shot this year.  

“We do not know what is going on to occur this coming flu season, and I wish to say we’re hoping for the most effective, however we’re planning for the worst,” Maragakis stated.  

The U.S. noticed a lighter flu season final 12 months, however Sampathkumar attributed that partially to folks taking steps to stop COVID-19 infections, similar to avoiding giant gatherings, regularly washing their palms and carrying face masks.  

“This 12 months, as COVID circumstances begin to decline, we’re afraid that flu may need extra of an impression as folks drop their guard about masking and never gathering in giant numbers,” she stated. 

Maragakis added that “we regularly see extra extreme flu seasons that comply with gentle seasons, and we predict it’s in all probability as a result of our immunity type of wanes in a 12 months once we aren’t uncovered to the flu very a lot.”  

Nations within the southern hemisphere largely noticed a lightweight flu season this 12 months, however that will not assure that the U.S. and different international locations within the northern hemisphere see the identical sample. 

Regardless, well being officers urge all who’re eligible to get their flu shot and get vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 as quickly as doable. The CDC recommends annual flu shots for everyone over 6 months of age, with uncommon exceptions. 

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