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Is it OK to get the flu shot and COVID-19 booster at the same time?

Experts reveal whether it’s safe to get the flu and COVID-19 booster shot

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is drawn into a syringe in Utah.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is drawn into a syringe at the South Davis Senior Activity Center in Bountiful on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021. Experts across the country are urging Americans to receive both the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot this year to stay safe from infections throughout the fall and winter.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Experts across the country are urging Americans to receive both the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot this year to stay safe from infections throughout the fall and winter.

  • “It’s terribly important,” William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, told The Washington Post. “They are both very nasty respiratory viruses that can make many people very, very sick.”

Of course, one shot won’t protect you from the other. The flu protects you from a particular strain of influenza, where as the COVID-19 vaccine will protect you from the novel coronavirus.

Can you get the COVID booster and a flu shot at the same time?

As talk of booster shots rises, there’s easily a question about whether or not you can get the COVID-19 booster shot and the flu shot at the same time.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s safe to get both vaccines at the same time. This is a slight change from a previous suggestion to get vaccines 14 days after each other.

  • “Although data are not available for COVID-19 vaccines administered simultaneously with other vaccines, extensive experience with non-COVID-19 vaccines has demonstrated that immunogenicity and adverse event profiles are generally similar when vaccines are administered simultaneously as when they are administered alone,” the CDC said.

Kelly Moore, president and CEO of the Immunization Action Coalition, agreed with the CDC’s stance on the shots.

  • “Now that we have so much experience with these COVID-19 vaccines, which we didn’t have when they were first introduced, we are quite comfortable saying it’s fine to give them with other vaccines,” Moore said.

Should you get a COVID-19 booster shot?

In August, U.S. health officials said all Americans should get a COVID-19 booster shot to improve their immunity after there was new data that showed fully vaccinated people are suffering from more breakthrough infections related to the delta variant, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • “We are starting to see evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease,” officials told The New York Times.

But not all experts agree that healthy people should get the COVID-19 booster. On Monday, a number of scientific experts — including two reviewers who work for the Food and Drug Administration (though they do not speak for the FDA) — said in a research paper that the COVID-19 booster shots are “not appropriate” at this time.

  • “Even in populations with fairly high vaccination rates, the unvaccinated are still the major drivers of transmission,” the researchers concluded.