Can You Get a COVID Booster and a Flu Shot at the Same Time?
November 10, 2021
Information regarding COVID-19 and vaccines are continually evolving, new details may be available since this content was developed. Please visit the CDC's website for the most up to date information.
Now that flu season is here, you may be concerned about catching two viruses: Influenza (flu) and SARS-Cov-2, which causes COVID-19.
Everyone has experienced the panic and uncertainty that comes with mild COVID and flu like symptoms, which are very similar. With flu season just around the corner, this uncertainty is likely to strike us back again.
The best protection against both viruses is vaccination, and vaccines are readily available for both flu and COVID-19.
Two vaccines; one visit
If you’re planning to get a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot sometime soon and the thought of going to the pharmacy twice sounds like an inconvenience, you won’t actually have to make two trips:
You can get a flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Should your COVID and flu shot go in separate arms?
“When people get two vaccinations at the same time, they usually get one vaccination in each arm, but it is your preference,” says internal medicine specialist Laura Dutu, M.D. “If you get both shots in one arm, it can be slightly more sore than if you did one shot in each arm.”
Expect Similar Side Effects
“Because the typical side effects that people experience from both vaccines are similar, people should expect their side effects to resemble what they have had after previous flu or COVID-19 vaccines. They should not be more intense for most people," adds Dr. Dutu.
Research backs up recommendation
The CDC shared study results from 2022 that examined the efficacy and safety of administering a COVID shot and flu shot at the same time, which found:
- A similar immune response to those who had both shots at once, versus separately
- No specific safety concerns for administering both shots at the same time
“Researchers have known for some time that when people receive two vaccinations at once, the body can identify each vaccine without confusion and develop an immune response to each,” says Dr. Dutu. “It is both convenient and effective to get both vaccines at the same time.”
Next Steps & Resources:
- Meet our source: Laura Dutu, M.D.
- To make an appointment with Dr. Dutu, or a doctor near you, call 800-822-8905 or visit our website.
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.
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