DETROIT – Preparations are underway for the 2021 flu season.
With COVID-19 vaccine booster shots a real possibility many people are wondering if they can get a flu shot and a COVID vaccine at the same time.
The short answer is yes.
When the COVID vaccines were first authorized at the end of last year they came with a clear recommendation not to administer them at the same time as any other vaccines. That was done out of an abundance of caution.
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No evidence indicates that giving them with other vaccines either diminishes their effectiveness or causes any additional side effects.
Since the original authorization, the CDC and their advisory committee on immunization practices have updated their guidance saying that COVID-19 vaccines may now be administered without regard to the timing of other vaccines. That includes simultaneous administration of the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines on the same day.
That means that you can get the flu vaccine and a COVID booster at the same time. They will be two separate shots and some experts have recommended getting them in different arms.
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Technically, they can be given in the same arm but the injection sites should be separated by one inch or more. If you prefer not to get your flu shot and COVID booster at the same time, it’s just as reasonable to separate them by the originally recommended 14 days.
From a convenience standpoint, it would be ideal to have people get both their influenza shot and COVID booster at the same time as long as no concerns come up. If anything changes with new data or people do have more problems, the advice could change.
The CDC recommends that everyone get their flu shot by the end of October. They generally caution seniors not to get vaccinated too early, in July or August, because you want to have the highest protection during the winter.
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