Should you get your Covid booster and flu shot at the same time?

As flu season approaches, plus a potential spike in some other Covid cases this fall, many Americans are wondering two things: When is the best time to get a flu shot — if at all — and is it ok to double and inject both. seasonal flu vaccine and new omicron-specific Covid-19 booster at the same time?

Through the CDC says it’s perfectly fine to get the flu vaccine and the Covid-19 shot at the same time, but there are no specific guidelines regarding the newly formulated booster.

However, pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS is offering the vaccine as a package deal, and people have started getting vaccinated with both shots at the same time.

But not all public health experts believe this is the best approach, especially given the average flu vaccination timeline the United States has followed since pre-pandemic, Theodora Hatziioannou, virologist and associate professor at Rockefeller University.

“For the average person, maybe having it a little later would be better,” said Hatziioannou, “I’m definitely waiting.”

‘When should I get the flu shot?’

Hatziioannou tells CNBC Make It that when you get your flu shot should align with the time frame that allows you to have the best antibody response early in the flu season.

It’s important to look at data from recent years, pre-pandemic, in your local area to determine when cases started to increase in your community, says Hatziioannou.

The standard rule of thumb is to get vaccinated four weeks before the start of flu season for the best protection because that’s when you’ll have the best antibody response, she notes.

“In New York and some other areas of the same geographic latitude, flu season usually starts in December and runs through March,” she says, “So if you have [the flu shot] now, at the end of September or [early] In October, your peak antibody response will be in November. It’s a little too early. “

At this time, Hatziioannou recommends getting a flu shot in late October or early November for maximum protection throughout December.

And the protection provided by vaccines generally fades over time, so if you get the vaccine too early, you may have fewer antibodies by the end of the flu season, she said.

“One thing I want to say is that this year I will definitely shoot both because the combination can be quite uncomfortable,” says Hatziioannou.

“You don’t want to catch the flu while Covid is on the move, and you don’t want to get SARS-CoV-2 during a flu outbreak. I can imagine a double whale would be really awful.”

‘Should I get an omicron booster and a flu shot at the same time?’

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