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Can You Get the Flu and COVID Vaccine at the Same Time?

October 17, 2023 | Reading Time: 2 minutes
Sleeves Up, It’s Respiratory Virus Season!

As the temperatures drop this fall, your chances of catching a seasonal respiratory virus like COVID-19 or the flu start to rise. Yearly flu shots have not changed much over time, but now there is another respiratory virus, COVID-19, that you can protect yourself against as well. Now the question becomes which shots should I get and when should I get them?

The flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine are recommended for all adults without a history of a severe allergy to the vaccine. Both the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine have been updated to target the most common strains expected this year. The flu shot is best given in September or October to give the body time to make antibodies for peak flu season, which is typically December through February. However, you may get the flu vaccine anytime between September and March. Adults are also eligible for one dose of the updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine. This dose should be at least 8 weeks after any previous dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Can you get the vaccines at the same time?
One of the most common questions people may ask is whether or not you can get the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. The answer is yes! These vaccines can safely be given together. You can get both vaccines in the same arm, an inch or two apart, or in different arms.

This decision is up to you!
It has been shown that receiving the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time only slightly increases the chances of having a reaction such as fatigue, headache, or muscle ache, and these reactions are mostly mild and resolve quickly. If you do want to wait to get your shots at different times, or if you already received one and need the other, there is no need to wait between getting the flu shot or the COVID-19 vaccine.

As we enter respiratory virus season, stay safe and healthy by building immunity from viruses with vaccines, washing your hands frequently with soap and water and distancing yourself from others who are sick when possible. If you are in need of vaccination, contact your provider for more information.

Kinsey McClure, PharmD, PGY2 Infectious Diseases Resident, Huntsville Hospital