Is it safe to get a COVID vaccine and flu shot at the same time? Expert says answer has evolved

Event Sunday at First Timothy Baptist Church

News4JAX reporter Zac Lashway is talks with a local infectious disease doctor to see if a person can receive both the COVID-19 and flu vaccines at once.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A vaccine event Sunday at First Timothy Baptist Church Jacksonville will offer all three COVID-19 shots and the flu shot.

But is it safe to get both a coronavirus vaccine and the flu shot at the same time?

Dr. Mohammed Reza, an infectious disease specialist, said the answer to that question has evolved as scientists have learned more about the vaccine, especially the COVID-19 vaccines.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines “may now be administered without regard to timing.” This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines on the same day, as well as co-administration within 14 days.

“But if you’ve had any history or reaction, talk to your provider, your clinician, and if you have any concerns, waiting that 14-day period wouldn’t do harm,” said Reza said.

Reza said if you’re planning to get both of them, to get the shots in different arms because they can cause some localized pain.

And if you’re choosing one over the other Reza said to get the COVID vaccine.

“It is early in the flu season to get the flu vaccine right now, so if you’re going to get one, or the other, get the COVID-19 for the time being because we’re looking at flu season in September/October and that flu vaccine doesn’t last all year long,” Reza said. “If you’re going to get one, I would get the COVID-19 vaccine for sure.”

The event organized by First Timothy Baptist and the Jacksonville COVID-19 Task Force is at 12103 Biscayne Blvd. from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday. The vaccines will be provided free of charge to anyone 12 years and older. Only Pfizer is approved for those aged 12-17.

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