Double shot protection

Double shot protection

Flu and corona virus vaccines

It happens every year: flu season, which usually peaks between December and February. This year marks the third flu season with another virus also spreading: COVID-19. With a safe and effective booster dose of COVID-19 now available, health experts are urging people to get the flu and COVID vaccine in order to protect themselves in the fall and winter.

Since 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended annual flu vaccinations for everyone six months of age and older, with few exceptions. New this year is an additional recommendation for a higher dose for those 65 and older. The CDC has also recommended the use of updated COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for people age 12 and older and from Moderna for people age 18 and older.

If you haven’t had your COVID-19 booster injection yet, or if you still need an initial dose, it’s not too late.

“I urge everyone eligible for a COVID booster to do so, and the reasons why are multifactorial. Number one is that your immunity is waning and you need to protect yourself. Number two is that the virus has changed,” says Dr. Bill Walsh, chief medical officer of OSF HealthCare. a little bit and that the most recent booster is the most effective in protecting against these changes.”

Dr. Walsh adds that it’s important to get the seasonal flu shot as well as the COVID vaccine because they both protect against different viruses.

“Please understand that the recommendation is for both the flu vaccine and the COVID vaccine. There is no cross-reactivity although symptoms may be similar between COVID-19 and influenza. A flu shot will not help fight coronavirus, and a flu vaccination will not protect you,” explains Dr. Walsh.

timing When do you get the flu shot? And COVID-boosted can be confusing. The CDC says that if you haven’t yet received your recommended initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, get one as soon as possible. Health experts usually recommend getting the seasonal flu shot by the end of October for the best protection during peak flu season, and they say it’s safe to get both vaccines during the same visit.

“There are many times you get more than one vaccine. Most of the time when you get the tetanus shot, it also includes whooping cough. Many vaccinations that pediatricians give kids have more than one vaccine in each shot. So, it’s normal and normal that More than one vaccine is happening at a time,” says Dr. Walsh.

Dr. Walsh adds that performing both injections simultaneously reduces the need to make multiple trips to your doctor’s office or local pharmacy. But this path may not be available to everyone.

As with all vaccinations, there are mild side effects that both vaccines can cause, such as joint or muscle pain, fatigue, and chills. If you’ve had side effects from vaccines in the past and it takes a couple of days for them to subside, you can choose to get the vaccines at separate times.

“You know yourself better. If you’re sure you’ll have them even though you don’t get them on a date, that’s totally fine too. You might want to space them out because sometimes you have side effects. There were a lot of questions about whether You’d have it in one arm or different arms so you would have different injection sites. It really boils down to personal preference,” advises Dr. Walsh.

The important thing is to make sure you get these two vaccinations to protect yourself and your loved ones. As the holiday season approaches, you may have holiday gatherings on your calendar for the next few months. If you get a flu shot in October but choose to wait for a COVID-19 booster later, Dr. Walsh recommends getting it at least two weeks before any large gatherings to ensure the best protection against the virus.

To schedule a seasonal flu shot and a COVID-19 booster, make an appointment with your primary care provider or local pharmacy. Talk to your primary care provider if you have any questions about either vaccine.

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