It’s important that you get both the flu and COVID vaccinations this flu season. You can now get both vaccines at once!
Experts and health officials say it is safe to take the COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same dose. This can boost your immunity against both diseases.
Can two vaccines be administered at the same?
In short: it depends. Vaccine are sometimes combined, particularly in childhood. Most common are the DTaP (which protects against pertussis and diphtheria) and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella). These combination vaccines can be given in one shot or as part of a series. They may need boosters with age.
Other vaccines, however, can be administered at the same visit, but separately. Children can be given the DTaP and IPV vaccines at the same time, but they are administered separately.
It is the same for both COVID and flu vaccines. While the two vaccines are not yet able to combine into one shot, studies have shown that they can be given at the same moment.
What are the benefits of a syringe?
Benefits of getting the COVID-19 and flu vaccines together include:
Convenience: Rather than scheduling two appointments, you can get both vaccines all at once.
Recovery: You can recover from any side effects, like soreness and fatigue, within a short period of time.
Protective: Buying both vaccines at the same time will protect you from both COVID-19 and the current strains flu viruses.
The health care provider will give you both vaccines in a single appointment, but at different sites. For example, two parts of the shoulder muscle, or one each in your arms.
Can I get both the COVID and flu vaccines at once?
The safety of getting both the COVID-19 and influenza vaccines together is being supported by increasing research.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends getting both vaccines in one visit. A recent British study also supports the idea of getting both vaccines in the same visit.
The CDC has not confirmed whether or not this method increases the risk of side effects. However, British researchers have found that people who received both vaccines at the same shot did so without experiencing any additional side effects. Researchers measured antibodies in study participants and found that administering flu and COVID-19 at the same dose was just as effective.
Who should receive both the COVID and flu vaccine?
Experts recommend that everyone get a flu shot and a COVID in the fall. This includes getting vaccinated for the first or second time. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot, but those 65 years and older and pregnant women, as well as people with chronic illnesses or weakened immunity, are at higher risk.
The CDC recommends that anyone older than 6 months receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
Julie Kennon MD (pictured right above) from Mercy Health — Powell County Primary Care shares that “receiving an annual flu and COVID-19 vaccine is a simple, safe and effective way to prevent ourselves and our families from illness.” “Vaccination reduces hospitalizations associated with flu in our most vulnerable population, children and elderly.” I encourage healthy middle-aged people to get vaccinated as well to prevent the spread of flu to others, and to avoid time away from school and work.
Who should not get these vaccines
There are exceptions to the recommendation that most people receive flu and COVID vaccinations. Anyone who has Guillain-Barre Syndrome or has had an allergic reaction to vaccines, or has allergies to any of their ingredients, should speak with their primary healthcare provider to discuss their options.
COVID and RSV or flu?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in early 2023, approved a new RSV vaccine. RSV is a dangerous respiratory virus, especially for older adults, people with compromised immune systems, and children. The FDA has also approved an RSV vaccination for pregnant women during their third trimester to ensure that maternal antibodies are passed to the infants up to six months.
The CDC recommends adults 60 years and older receive the RSV vaccination in addition to flu and the updated COVID vaccine. The RSV vaccine is compatible with other vaccines. However, further research must be conducted to determine whether combining the RSV with flu and COVID can affect their efficacy.