WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Let's get a double dose of truth.
As the temperature decreases, COVID and flu seem to find their footing. We're heading into peak flu season, which happens to coincide with another pandemic year.
The CDC notes flu activity remains low, for now, but is slowly increasing. For weeks, doctors have been urging everyone to get vaccinated against both the flu and COVID as soon as possible.
It's a fitting time to revisit this question submitted by viewer Ken Burrell. He asked, "Would you VERIFY if it is safe to get the COVID and flu shots at the same time?"
Burrell said he heard conflicting information, and even his doctor suggested he wait two weeks between doses. Is that necessary?
It is not unsafe to get the COVID and flu shots at the same time, and you don't have to wait two weeks to get them separately.
Both medical experts and research conclude taking the vaccines together or separately is perfectly fine. Doing so simultaneously has an added benefit of convenience.
Infectious diseases physician Chris Ohl, MD, explained, "You get your COVID booster in one arm, and you get your flu shot in the other, and you do it at the same time, and it doesn't cause any more side effects together as it would separately."
Even if you opt not to take them together, there is no reason why you need to wait two weeks between vaccines. Just know, if you get them separately, you might feel temporary side effects after both shots.
The UK study published in the NIH in October found taking a COVID vaccine and flu vaccine together yielded no safety concerns and did not reduce the immune response to either vaccine.
Boston Children's Hospital physicians note for children eligible to get the COVID vaccine, they, too, can take it with the flu shot. Common side effects are similar to those of adults -- fatigue, muscle aches and soreness at the injection sites.
Doctors warn this flu season could be more severe than last. Masking and social distancing for COVID-19 helped keep flu activity low in 2020, but it potentially means a lower baseline of immunity heading into this flu season.
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Do you have a VERIFY question? Submit a short paragraph or selfie video, along with any screen shots or links to the claim in question, to Meghann Mollerus:
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