Information on COVID and flu shots ahead of peak season

Pharmacy chains like CVS and Walgreens are already selling flu injections, in addition to the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. If you want to stay healthy during flu season, be sure to be vaccinated, but the main question is when should you get them and should you receive both vaccines at the same time?

Health experts warn the timing of vaccinations is becoming more crucial with flu season approaching and improved COVID-19 boosters. This is a balancing act, according to Dr. Shad Marvasti, that health experts face every year with the flu.

Fern Junso, who has been a resident of Arizona for close to half a century, can relate to this.

She said that, having lived through the pandemic for such a long period of time, she would rather be safe than sorry.

“I don’t want to get the flu” Junso said, who has therefore had her COVID-19 immunizations, boosters, and now the flu shot.

“Oh yeah, I’ve had the whole 10 yards. I need all the help I can get, too, because of my age,” Junso added.

Obtaining your vaccines is a great idea, stated Dr. Shad Marvasti.

“You want to be strategic about the timing of your boosters in relation to how exposed you’re going to be. I think it’s wise to get the flu shot in September,” Marvasti said.

He recommends taking preventative measures as early as possible, noting that the months of October through March have historically been the peak of the flu season. However, this has changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Because we saw an uptick in flu cases in late Spring and May of this year,” Marvasti said.

The timing of vaccination is crucial, he noted, since immunity is not immediate.

“You’re not going to have that protection, like within a day. Typically, with most vaccines, your body will make antibodies in two or three weeks,” said Dr. Marvasti.

This also applies to the COVID-19 vaccination. According to Marvasti, the virus is more prevalent during the colder months and warmer months of the year. Occasionally throughout the late fall.

Getting the flu vaccination and the COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 booster at the same time will not diminish their efficacy, and there should be no significant interference, according to Dr. Marvasti.

He advised that it may not be a good idea for individuals with pre-existing health concerns or a compromised immune system to have both vaccinations at the same time, but it is essential to realize that your protection will wane over time.

For those who want to spread out their vaccinations, “I would definitely prioritize COVID because that’s the deadlier virus out there,” Marvasti said.

Gayle Gordon

As a college student, making an extra buck now and then was very important. I started as a part-time reporter since I was 19 yo, and I couldn’t believe it might become a long-time career. I'm happy to be part of the Virginian Tribune's team.

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