Nov 10, 2021
Clinical contributors to this story
Laura Dutu, MD contributes to topics such as: internal medicine.
Now that flu season has arrived, you may be concerned about contracting two viruses: Influenza (flu) and SARS-Cov-2, which causes COVID-19. Health experts have predicted that more people will get the flu this year than last year, and the risk of contracting COVID-19 is still very real, especially among unvaccinated people. The best protection against both viruses is vaccination, and vaccines are readily available for both the flu and COVID-19.
two vaccines; a visit
If you’re planning to get a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot soon and the thought of going to the pharmacy twice sounds like an inconvenience, you really don’t need 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.
“When people get two vaccinations at the same time, they usually get one vaccination in each arm,” says internist Laura Dutu, MD. “Because the typical side effects people experience from both vaccines are similar, people should expect their side effects to be similar to what they’ve had after previous flu or COVID-19 vaccines. They shouldn’t be more intense for most people.”
Research supports recommendation
British researchers have studied the effectiveness of co-administration of COVID-19 and flu vaccines. They gave 340 adults ages 18 and older COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots and also gave 339 adults COVID-19 vaccines and placebo injections. The preprint study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, found that when people were given flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time, there were no health or safety concerns.
The study also found that co-administration of both vaccines did not reduce the body’s immune response to either virus. In addition, pregnant women, older adults and people with serious health conditions — people who are ideal candidates for flu shots and COVID-19 vaccines — were included in the study, so the study should help reassure people in those groups that getting concomitant vaccinations is safe and secure. effective.
“Researchers have known for some time that when people get two vaccinations at once, the body can identify each vaccine without confusion and develop an immune response to each,” says Dr. dutu. “Also say that people should get both vaccines this flu season.”
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The materials provided through HealthU are for general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your doctor for individual care.