Can I get my Covid 19 Booster and Flu vaccine at the same time?

Yes, you can. The official guidance from the CDC is that, while there is limited data available right now, there are no major concerns about getting your booster and your flu shot at the same time.

One of the big reasons for that is just simple convenience, Murray said. This way, you don’t need to make multiple visits.

The other reason is that we now have some encouraging data from last year that reinforces how safe it is to get both vaccines at once. Some studies found that people who got both shots at the same time had a slightly higher rate of side effects. But they were not more likely to get serious or severe side effects than those who just received the previous COVID-19 booster on its own. Other studies found no differences in the rates of reactogenicity between those who got two shots and those who just got one.

All of this supports the idea that, for most of us, getting a flu shot and a COVID-19 booster at the same time is a safe and convenient way to check off those boxes on our seasonal to-do lists.

“There’s no cross-reaction, one vaccine is not inhibiting the other or causing adverse events in the other,” Esper said. “They’re completely different medicines but you can receive them at the same time.”

There are a few instances in which you might want to wait on one shot or the other, though. For example, if you had COVID-19 within the last three months, the CDC says you can consider waiting to get a booster depending on your individual risk factors. But that’s not a reason to delay your flu vaccine, Murray said. And if you’re not sure what makes the most sense for you, check with your doctor.

Will I get more side effects if I get them at the same time?

The research we have so far suggests that people don’t usually get more intense side effects if they get these two vaccines together — but it’s still possible. And if you know that you tend to react more to these vaccines, then it’s reasonable to assume you’ll react more when you get them at the same time, Esper said.

To make things a little more bearable, the CDC recommends getting one shot in each arm or, if you’re getting them in the same limb, to get them at least an inch apart, Murray explained.

The exact side effects you might get from either vaccine will vary from person to person. And although we don’t have too much data yet on the new omicron boosters in humans, there’s no reason to think they will be significantly different from those seen with past COVID-19 boosters, Yang said.

How to prepare for booster and flu shot side effects:

Keep in mind that “these are very common side effects but are not serious side effects,” Esper said. “They’re not life-threatening side effects and they go away on their own.” So even if you’re feeling miserable, know that it’s temporary. And there are some ways to make yourself feel a little better while you recuperate.

First, plan ahead. Try to schedule your vaccines for when you don’t have much going on in the following day or two, just in case you need to lay low due to side effects. “So if you have a big meeting at work or your child is in sports and has a big game, that’s probably not the day to go get the vaccine,” Murray said.

If you’re in pain after your shots, take over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Guidance on this might vary because there are “some theoretical concerns” that taking a medication like this could affect how well your immune system responds to the vaccine, Murray said.

That’s why Yang recommends waiting about four hours after getting the vaccine to take medication if you can. But there’s very little conclusive data on that point, he explained. And if you’re feeling significant side effects like arm soreness, fever, headache or muscle aches, the experts agreed that it’s reasonable to manage those with OTC medication. (But you should not take those medications before getting your shots, the CDC says.)

The CDC also suggests gently using or exercising the arm that’s sore and applying a cool compress to ease soreness and swelling.

There are a few potentially serious (but rare) side effects, like allergic reactions, that require medical attention.

But, for the most part, think of those side effects as signs that your vaccines are kicking in and that your body is doing its job to keep you safe. “That feeling is your immune system turning on and developing the protection that’s going to last for the next months to years going forward,” Esper said.

Source: NBC News. Click here for the full story


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