Q&A: Getting COVID and flu vaccines at the same time

Doctors fear the combination could be deadly
Doctors fear the combination could be deadly

HOUSTON – With more and more people getting back to normal, going out, going back to the office, it’s likely this year’s flu season will be worse than last year. No surprise. Last year was considered the “non-season,” according to Texas children’s Pediatrics Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stan Spinner.

What happens when someone catches both the flu and COVID?

Doctors don’t want you to find out.

“It could have a chance to weaken one’s immune response to the other [virus], so having them together is a significantly higher risk of causing more serious illness with either or with both [flu and/or COVID],” Spinner explained.

Can you get the flu vaccine and the COVID vaccine at the same time?

Yes. Go ahead and get them both.

You may have heard to wait two weeks between vaccines.

Dr. Spinner said when vaccines were first available, they didn’t know if getting the flu vaccine and the COVID vaccine at the same time would hurt the effectiveness of one of the shots. He said this year they know the effectiveness remains the same so you can get both shots at the same time.

Do you need a flu shot now?

Again, yes.

“It takes a couple of weeks to get the full protection from the vaccine, much like the COVID vaccine so we want to have people prepared and vaccinated ahead of time. Once flu starts, it may be too late,” Dr. Spinner said.