Can you get your flu shot and COVID booster in the same arm?

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When the COVID shots first came out, the CDC wanted to be careful. After all, it was a new vaccine, so they advised waiting two weeks before or after getting another vaccine, including a flu shot.. that guidance is changed. YYou can now get your flu and COVID injections at the same visit, but maybe not in the same arm.

The CDC recommends using separate arms if you are receiving a COVID shot and a high-dose or adjuvant flu shot. That’s because both types of injections are considered more “reactogenic” than other common vaccines. With either, yyou may have a sore arm or experience redness or swelling around the injection site. You may also get a swollen lymph node in the same armpit. If your reaction is severe enough to seek medical attention or report it to the vaccine side effects reporting systemit would be very helpful to know which vaccine caused the problem.

That said, you’re not forbidden from getting both shots in the same arm. And most flu shots are not out the high dose or adjuvanted type anyway. (These photos are only) recommended for people over 65 years old.) In most cases it’s fine to get two injections in the same visit, but double check with your provider as there are a few vaccines that have more specific guidelines. Separating shots by a few weeks is sometimes recommended for the monkeypox vaccinealthough if you know you have been exposed to monkeypox you should not delay the vaccine.

Usually, if you get two shots, providers will assume you want to get them in separate arms. Whenever my kids have had two or more vaccines, the nurses will generally double-squad the child and squirt into both arms (or both legs, for babies) at the same time. Whenever I, an adult, have been to the pharmacy for more than one injection, they put one in each arm. (This is how I got my travel related typhoid and hepatitis A shots a few years ago.)

Ultimately, the choice of the poor and the choice of the schedule is yours. Your immune system will probably respond just as well to the shots, whether they’re in an arm or two, Katherine Wu reports for the Atlantic. The question really is whether you’d rather have two slightly sore arms or a potentially very sore arm. You can also dodge the question completely by scheduling your flu and COVID injections for several days, which is handy enough if you get them from a neighborhood pharmacy.

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