Coronavirus questions answered: Can a booster for covid-19 and a flu shot be taken at the same time?

FILE - In this March 26, 2021, file photo, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham receives her Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from Deanne Tapia, a registered nurse with the New Mexico Public Health Office in Santa Fe, during a vaccination event held in the gym at Desert Sage Academy in Santa Fe, N.M. New Mexico's largest child care providers are offering free daycare for parents who are getting a COVID-19 vaccine before July 4, state officials announced Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (Eddie Moore/The Albuquerque Journal via AP, Pool, File)
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Q: I usually get my flu vaccine in early October. I am already vaccinated against covid-19 - got both shots of Pfizer in February. I am worried about the need for a booster with the timing of my annual flu vaccine. Can they be taken at the same time? Will anything affect the effectiveness of either shot?"

A: Great question, but it's important to note that although most health experts do believe we will need a coronavirus booster at some point, they do not know when. Some think it may be a while. So there may not be any reason to concern yourself with this question right now. Because there is not a definitive timeline on when boosters will be necessary, federal health authorities have not provided clear recommendations on how those shots should be administered. But they have said that the Food and Drug Administration-authorized coronavirus vaccines may be given with other vaccines "without regard to timing," meaning you could get a coronavirus vaccine and flu shot at the same time. We will have to wait to see whether this guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will apply to booster shots.

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Interestingly enough, there may come a day when coronavirus boosters and flu shots are combined into a single jab.

Moderna chief executive Stephane Bancel said the company is developing a flu vaccine using messenger RNA technology and plans to combine it with a coronavirus vaccine "so that you only have to get one boost" to protect against both the current coronavirus variant and flu strain.

Researchers say it makes sense to create one vaccine that covers everything, but the development and approval of even a solo mRNA flu shot may take quite a bit of time.

Don't worry too much about juggling your annual flu shot with any potential coronavirus booster. When a booster is available, it will no doubt come with official guidelines.

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