A hospital pharmacy manager says that Covid-19 vaccines and flu vaccines work together and keep everyone safe
Unfortunately, flu season has returned prior to the end of the COVID-19 epidemic. Therefore, the best way to protect yourself and others from infection is to have both the flu vaccination and the COVID-19 shot or booster.
So, can they be administered simultaneously, or is there an interval between vaccinations?
No waiting required
Researchers have established that it is safe to get both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines simultaneously, despite initial concerns. According to Brian Laird, RPH, PharmD, hospital pharmacy manager for OSF HealthCare, there is no reason why the vaccines would not work well together.
“When it was originally introduced, we suggested waiting two weeks between vaccinations,” Brian explained. “The rationale behind splitting the vaccines was to spread out any potential side effects, such as weariness, soreness after the injection, or fever, and to ensure that the COVID vaccine’s efficacy was not compromised.
“However, we now recommend that, if it makes things easier, you complete them simultaneously.”
“I definitely recommend getting the vaccinations in different arms – it’s easier on the people providing the shot, and probably easier for pain management, as well,” Brian advised.
Getting the COVID-19 and influenza vaccines at the same time should not affect the production of antibodies or the efficacy of the vaccines.
Brian stated that he received his COVID-19 booster and flu vaccination on the same day. If he had the opportunity, he would have obtained them simultaneously. Additionally, he deals with a large number of individuals who have had both vaccinations simultaneously for the sake of convenience.
Combining the influenza and COVID-19 vaccinations is undergoing testing.
Combining vaccinations is neither innovative nor unprecedented. In fact, it’s fairly common. The Tdap vaccination combines the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) immunizations. The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines were integrated into a single MMR dose.
Brian stated, “There is a lengthy history of combining vaccines as much as possible.” Fewer injections are preferable for individuals who dislike being stuck.
It is prudent not to delay. If you have not yet received your COVID-19 or flu vaccine, locate a local retail pharmacy that offers these or consult our website for additional information.