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Cold weather has been sweeping the Nation as Winter is right around the corner. This means peak flu season is almost here. As families begin to be on the lookout for congestion, fevers, and other symptoms; they may be wondering if they can vaccinate against both COVID-19 and the flu. Now is the time to turn to experts for advice.
Medical experts, health officials, and doctors want to ensure everyone knows that it is safe to receive both vaccines at the same time or even days to weeks within each other.
One expert in the medical field, Dr. Lisa Maragakis — senior director of infection prevention for the Johns Hopkins Health System — stated, “The great news is yes, you can get both vaccines at the same time or in close proximity to each other. Whatever works best for you.”
It is safe for individuals to receive the flu and COVID-19 injections during the same visit, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This means whether it is a person’s first COVID vaccine or their booster; they can have their doctor’s office or pharmacy give them the flu shot.
When the COVID-19 vaccine was first distributed to the public, officials made the recommendation that it should be taken separate “from other vaccines by two weeks.” However, Maragakis explained, “…that has since been revised, and now we know that you can get that vaccine safely along with other vaccines.”
Last year, there was a dip in flu activity. This means there were fewer people infected, hospitalized, or even died from the influenza virus. The three seasons prior to the pandemic, the flu season peaked at around 26.2% to 30.3% of people in the U.S. were infected. The 2020-2021 season only saw around 0.02% — dramatically lower than previous years.
It is believed flu infections dropped because of COVID-19 mitigation measures (i.e. wearing face masks, school closures, and wearing face masks) but there could be other contributing factors. In the 2020-2021 flu season 11.3 million doses of the influenza vaccine were distributed, according to the CDC. Their data shows that two million of these doses were given to children.
Receiving the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine helps ensure everyone can stay safe and healthy during the cold winter season.
Written by Sheena Robertson
USA Today: Is it safe to get a flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time? Experts explain; by Marina Pitofsky
CDC: 2020-2021 Flu Season Summary
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