With flu season approaching, plus the chance of one other surge of Covid instances this fall, many Americans are questioning two issues: When is the greatest time to get the flu vaccine – if there’s one – and is it okay to double up and obtain each the seasonal flu vaccine and new omicron-specific Covid-19 booster at the same time?
Though the CDC says it is utterly wonderful to get a flu vaccine and Covid-19 shot concurrently, there hasn’t been particular steerage pertaining to the newly formulated booster.
Yet, pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS are providing the vaccines as a packaged deal, and folks have already begun getting immunized with each photographs at the same time.
But not all public well being consultants imagine that is the greatest strategy, particularly given the common flu shot timeline that the U.S. has adopted since earlier than the pandemic, says Theodora Hatziioannou, a virologist and affiliate professor at Rockefeller University.
“For the average person, probably having it a little bit later would be better,” Hatziioannou says, “I’m certainly waiting.”
The timing of when you get your flu shot ought to be aligned with the time-frame that will enable you to have the greatest antibody response throughout the starting of flu season, Hatziioannou tells CNBC Make It.
It’s essential to look at information from current years, previous to the pandemic, in your native space to find out when instances traditionally begin to enhance in your group, Hatziioannou says.
The commonplace rule of thumb is get your vaccination 4 weeks earlier than the starting of flu season as a way to have the most safety as a result of that is when you’ll have the greatest antibody response, she notes.
“In New York and several other areas with the same geographical latitude, flu season usually starts in December and lasts until March,” she says, “So, if you have it [the flu shot] now, at the end of September or [early] October, your peak antibody responses will be in November. It’s a little bit too early.”
At this time, Hatziioannou recommends getting your flu shot at the finish of October or early November to have the highest safety all through December.
And the safety offered by the vaccine usually wanes over time, so if you get the vaccine too early, you might have much less antibodies at the tail finish of flu season, she says.
“The one thing I would say is this year I would definitely get both shots because the combination could be quite nasty,” Hatziioannou says.
“You don’t want to get the flu while Covid’s going around, and you don’t want to get SARS-CoV-2 while the flu is going around. I can envision that a double whammy would be really terrible.”
There are not any particular explanation why you cannot get your omicron booster at the same time as your flu vaccine, says Mark Conroy, emergency medication doctor at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
“In terms of side effects from the omicron-specific vaccine and the flu shot, there haven’t been any studies specifically looking at those two together,” Conroy says, “But there have been some studies looking at the prior booster with the flu shot, and there really wasn’t a negative effect related to having both shots at the same time.”
And if you’re nervous about not having the ability to discover availability later in the 12 months to get your flu shot, then Conroy encourages you to get a dual-appointment.
“If you don’t get them at the same time, what’s the biggest risk? And the risk is just forgetting to get the flu shot later,” he says, “If you have the chance, obviously get vaccinated over not getting vaccinated.”
But, if you can watch for your flu shot, he does advocate doing so till mid- to late-October or the starting of November as Hatziioannou urged.
“From the standpoint of the omicron booster, my recommendation is people should just get it as soon as they’re able. Covid is around enough and making people sick,” he says, “September is a little bit early for the flu shot. I generally recommend getting it a little bit later in the fall.”