Getting both flu, COVID-19 vaccine shots this season

Reporter: Michael Hudak Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

Southwest Florida doctors tell WINK News that if you’re considering getting a COVID-19 booster shot as well as a flu shot, there is no need to space the two out.

In fact, you can even get the two shots during the same visit; same day, same time, with two different injection sites. Doctors are recommending that everyone go out and get their flu shot as soon as possible, with the CDC recommending that everyone get their flu shot by the end of October. They say that if you haven’t gotten the COVID-19 vaccine yet, or you need the booster shot, you can do that around the same time, as well, it’s just a matter of whether or not you want to deal with two sore arms from the shots on two different days or on the same day.

“There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time,” said Dr. Rebekah Bernard, from Gulf Coast Direct Primary Care. “The CDC has said that there’s really no contraindications. There’s no reason why you couldn’t do that. Generally, people don’t have significant reactions from flu shots. We do know some people have some reactions from the COVID-19 shot. But we don’t expect those to be any worse because you’re receiving a flu vaccine or another vaccine, even at the same time.”

A COVID-19 vaccine will soon likely be available for children ages 5 to 11. When it comes to children, we know that vaccines are given at different dosages, with federal regulations on vaccines differentiating them by the weight of the person receiving them. Even so, doctors say it’s not a bad time to get both for your kids.

“We do know that when we space out other vaccines, other childhood vaccines, sometimes people are less likely to come back for that second or third or fourth appointment,” said Dr. Stephanie Stovall, pediatric infectious disease physician. “So, if there’s a risk that someone’s going to go without the vaccine because you’ve spaced it out, I definitely wouldn’t recommend spacing.”

Bernard points out that the flu last season was almost undetectable, her patients barely showing symptoms of it, and that is possibly because more people were inside and taking more precautions than usual against infectious disease. More patients, too, were dealing with COVID-19. With people traveling more often this year because of fewer restrictions, however, there is really no telling how severe this flu season will be.

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