With the fall season just weeks away, you may wonder whether you can get your annual flu vaccine and a COVID-19 booster shot at the same time.
Flu season began this month, and now through October is a good time to get the seasonal shot for those 6 months and older, a Sept. 6 news release from the American Lung Association says.
If you want to get a flu shot and a COVID-19 booster during the same visit, you can, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“There is no recommended waiting period between getting a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines,” the CDC says online.
For flu vaccines, the agency recommends that these “should ideally be offered during September or October,” according to an agency report published Aug. 25.
In regards to both flu and COVID-19 shots, the CDC says: “While limited data exist on giving COVID-19 vaccines with other vaccines, including flu vaccines, experience with giving other vaccines together has shown the way our bodies develop protection and possible side effects are generally similar whether vaccines are given alone or with other vaccines.”
Now everyone 12 and older can get Pfizer’s updated COVID-19 booster dose and those 18 and older can get Moderna’s booster dose, McClatchy News previously reported. The boosters target two versions of the omicron variant currently spreading in the U.S. — BA.4 and BA.5.
The Food and Drug Administration authorized the modified versions of both company’s vaccines, referred to as “bivalent” vaccines, for emergency use on Aug. 31.
Locations offering updated boosters across the country can be found by visiting Vaccines.gov.
Here’s what else you should know about getting a COVID-19 booster and flu shot:
As of Sept. 7, about 67% of the county lives in a location where COVID-19 levels in the community are considered medium or high, according to the CDC.
With COVID-19 spreading, the agency advises getting an annual flu vaccine.
The agency is encouraging healthcare providers to administer both flu and COVID-19 shots during the same visit for patients who are “due for both.”
In a recent poll conducted by the agency, 71% of people already vaccinated with a COVID-19 shot said they would get a flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine during the same visit. Meanwhile, 11% said they would not do so.
The poll surveyed 1,004 adults 18 and older — 643 vaccinated and 334 who were unvaccinated, according to the agency.
Who can get the COVID-19 booster shot?
Children ages 5 through 11 can get Pfizer’s original booster dose at least five months after receiving their second primary series dose, according to the CDC.
Individuals 12 through 17 can only receive Pfizer’s updated booster at least two months after their last vaccine dose, the agency says. For those 18 and older, they can opt for either Pfizer or Moderna’s modified booster dose under the same conditions.
The new shots are anticipated to be widely available within the next several weeks, a Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson told NBC News.
“As we head into fall and begin to spend more time indoors, we strongly encourage anyone who is eligible to consider receiving a booster dose with a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine to provide better protection against currently circulating variants,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf said in a statement on Aug. 31.
Meanwhile, University of California infectious disease expert Dr. Monica Gandhi told NPR that she recommends the updated shots for those “who are immunocompromised or those who are 60 years [old] and above.”
However, the CDC still recommends that everyone stay “up to date” on COVID-19 vaccines.