Getting your covid and flu boosters at the same time is likely better

It’s cold & flu season again, which means if you haven’t already gotten your flu shot, it’s time to get on it! It’s also around the time for most of us to get our latest Covid boosters as well. I know a lot of people who took advantage of getting both shots at the same time. I’ve also talked to people who were reluctant to do both shots on the same day because they tend to have negative reactions to one or both, especially the Covid one. You should always talk to your doctor and do what’s best for yourself. There is good news, though, for anyone who is getting both vaccines at once. According to a new study, getting both your flu and Covid shots together produces a stronger antibody response.

A major study shows that giving the COVID and flu shots together produces a stronger antibody response.

The research was presented on Monday at the Vaccines Summit Boston, an annual scientific conference. It measured the antibody levels of 42 health care workers in Massachusetts.

Twelve received a bivalent COVID booster and seasonal flu shot on the same day. 30 others got shots on different days. The study found those who received the shots together had higher antibody levels against COVID.

It’s important to note that the research has not been published in a scientific journal.

Scientists say they want to try to replicate this data with this year’s vaccines as well.

[From NBC Boston]

As they point out in the article, this was just a small study done on 42 people, but those results sound really promising. I hope further research yields similar results because getting both at the same visit would save so much time. It’s such a pain to have to take the time out of your already busy day, or even to have to take time off of work, to get one vaccine, let alone having to do it twice within a short amount of time. This year, our pediatrician did a family flu shot clinic on a Saturday back in September, which was great because it meant I didn’t have to take the kids out of school early and if they did have any mild reactions like being tired and cranky, we could deal with it over the weekend. The only downside to getting the shots so early was that the office didn’t have the latest Covid booster yet, so we ended up getting boosted at a local pharmacy. I’m going to keep an eye out for other studies that come out about this subject.

Unai Huizi / ImageBROKER / Avalon, Unai Huizi / ImageBROKER / Avalon, Oleksandr Latkun / ImageBROKER / Avalon

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

44 Responses to “Getting your covid and flu boosters at the same time is likely better”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Ameerah M says:

    I always get mine on the same day simply because I can then take one day to deal with any side effects and then just be done with it. It’s what I did this year when I got my booster and flu shot. You have one day of feeling like crap but that’s it.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        The article says it might increase your chance for stroke for those 85 and older. I got them together last year and again this year. This is the first year that I was down for a couple of days.

      • Macky says:

        @laurel when the vaccine first came out you couldn’t take it close to when you got a flu shot. People were admitted to the hospital and everything. I remember manufactures saying they wanted to do a combo vaccine but they never explained what’s different. So I get seperate vaccines.

        I met a guy who was hospitalized and took 3 months to recover. I know the boosters are different but I won’t chance it. I wait a couple of weeks.

      • Scotchy says:

        I am one of those people that had a stroke after my second dose of moderna. There is no way I would do both. I was only 42 and according to the cardiologist that I had test me I was one of many he was seeing. I will get the flu shot but am still very wary to booster unless its one of the none mrna ones then I would feel better about it.

  2. orangeowl says:

    I just did this very thing earlier this week, along with a tetanus booster I was due for. It truly was for convenience, I knew I didn’t want to come back to the doc multiple times for multiple shots. And other than some arm soreness I had zero side effects, not even fatigue.

    • liz says:

      My college student did the same. They were home for a few days last week, so I sent them to the pharmacy around the corner to get their flu shot and COVID booster – the health center at their university (not in the US) is giving priority to immunocompromised students, so it was going to be quicker for them to do it at home. They called me while they were doing check-in to ask “did I ever get a whooping cough vaccine?” I checked their records from the pediatricians office to see when they last had a TDaP booster and they were due for one this winter, so they got that too. A sore arm was their only side effect.

      • ama1977 says:

        My kids had both at their well checks this week (along with a TdAP booster for the 11 y/o and meningitis vaccines for both.)

        11 y/o was grumpy and wiped out for most of the rest of the day. She rallied late afternoon and was her usual self until time to get ready for bed, when she melted down. She was back to normal in the morning.

        My 16 y/o was fine the day of, but barely made it through his morning running practice the following day and then developed a wicked headache and threw up shortly after he finished. I went and picked him up from school and he slept for several hours and then was fine, too.

        All of that is to say that my old a$$ needs to schedule both, too, but I will be taking the next day off since if the youths were affected the way they were, I’m sure I’ll be half dead, lol.

  3. I got mine at the same time. Didn’t have too many side effects just tired and my arm hurt for a day and that was it for me.

    • Roo says:

      Same here.

    • Ameerah M says:

      I had a low grade fever and body aches along with fatigue. But I was alright after less than 24 hours. I just took it as an opportunity to spend an entire Saturday in my pajamas watching TV.

    • Anita says:

      So also here. I did it because it’s convenient, and got a lot of disapproving looks when I mentioned what I did to my colleagues.
      I really hope that this mini-survey does not remain anecdotal, but ends up in a serious study with useful results.

    • bettyrose says:

      The double booster didn’t hit me nearly as hard this year as last year, but the throbbing pain in the COVID arm and the physical/mental tiredness were no joke. In the remote work life, I laid on the couch and did off camera zoom meetings all day, but it would’ve been a necessary sick day if leaving my couch or any real brain power was required.

      • Flamingo says:

        Got my booster yesterday, today is the first time I am getting hit with side effects, soreness, tired, fog brain. I tried to work for an hour and gave up this morning and called out sick the rest of the day. Thankfully I WFH so it was just an email to my team.

        But a good day to take off work and have a long weekend to recover.

  4. TigerMcQueen says:

    Got my flooster in October!

  5. Dee says:

    Got both at the same time. No side effects except a slightly sore arm for a few hours. If I had been thinking, I’d have got them both in the same arm because I’m a side sleeper.

  6. Surly Gale says:

    I got my flue shot and my B-12 in the same arm at the same time and I sported a magnificent bruise for a week. Then I got my Covid shot and….nothing. Absolutely nothing!!
    My son has been brainwashed and over the weekend I literally begged him to re-think and trust the science. I hope I got through to him.

    • Flamingo says:

      Same thing for my Mom, she refused to get the Covid booster since she hates the side effects so much and never got Covid. And being in Florida she listens to her wacky friends she does not need it.

      Well ding dong goes on a crusie and comes home with a nasty case of Covid. It scared her straight to get the booster again.

      • outoftheshadows says:

        I don’t know why anyone goes on cruises anymore. Everyone I know who does comes back sick!

  7. Kate says:

    I did them same time last year and I think it was fine but my husband, who has a needle phobia, got both at the same time this year and was pretty knocked out by it with 2 very sore arms and super tired. I think if you’re scared of shots and tense up, it hurts your muscles worse (and you probably have a worse adrenaline crash after). So maybe it’s better to do them separately if you have a hard time with shots but otherwise why not bang it out at the same time.

  8. Bettyrose says:

    I friggin’ hope so for the absolute misery of the next 8 hours. I imagine my body knitting together an anti-body super hero defense as I writhe in discomfort.

  9. Miranda says:

    As an immunocompromised person, I want to thank everybody who is doing the responsible thing and getting their vaccines/boosters, especially those of you who are also having your kids get them! You’re not just protecting them, you’re also setting a great example and instilling a sense of compassion, and hopefully that will go a long way towards ensuring that the responses to any future pandemics won’t be sabotaged by selfish, petulant morons.

    • ama1977 says:

      💗 Glad to do it. My younger one haaaates shots and tried to say “I’d rather have COVID than a shot!” and I told her, “nah, you’re getting the shot.” She did catch it right before they approved vaccines in her age group and it wasn’t severe, thank goodness, but just because her immune system fought it pretty well doesn’t mean that others she came in contact with before we knew she was sick have the same chances.

      My mom told me how parents lined up for hours to get their kids vaccinated for polio when she was little, and this is the same IMO. We all have to do what we can to keep each other safe. I don’t want anyone to catch a disease that we have tools to fight, and I will do my part to make sure it doesn’t happen.

    • bettyrose says:

      I don’t have kids, although I do have have an immunocompromised partner – but there really isn’t a downside to getting vaccinated (okay, 8 hours of mild discomfort that’s nothing like the misery of flu or COVID). People choose to make it some kinda personal cause to not get vaxxed, but all their idols are mega rich, with great health care, and do, uh, actually get regular vaccines.

  10. HeatherC says:

    I got my flu and covid shot yesterday. My arm is sore, my head a teeny bit foggy and I ache. All expected. I’ll be fine by tomorrow. I dream of the day when the COVID and flu shot are combined in one.

  11. ELFC says:

    Interesting and timely. I got my flu and covid shots yesterday morning. I woke at 2:00 am today freezing and so sore. I took some painkillers and bundled up. Much better when I woke again but using my wonderful heating pad right now.

  12. VilleRose says:

    I have a cold right now so seeing this article today was quite timely. I just came back from being out of the country for 3 weeks, part of it was for work. I got sick in the last few days of the trip as did a lot of my colleagues. I tested negative for covid yesterday after I finally got back to the USA and I made sure to get my flu and covid booster at the beginning of October as I knew I would be traveling for an extended period of time but I didn’t want to do them on the same day.

    I had 48 hours of side effects after my covid booster in 2022 (I also got the shots on different days then) and I also staggered them this year too because I didn’t want to deal with two sore arms at once or too many side effects. Glad to report I had zero side effects this time around after the covid booster. It was annoying to have to go to two different pharmacies to get them (my first covid shot was actually canceled by my closest CVS so I had to drive about 25 mins away to a Walgreens the next day) but it’s a small inconvenience making sure I am as protected as possible for the upcoming flu/covid season.

  13. Flamingo says:

    I usually get them separate since I thought that would give each one a chance to kick in better. But for sure next year I am doing them both at once. I never ever want to get Covid again. It felt like I was drowning on dry land.

  14. FeedMeChips says:

    I just did this on Wednesday. I spent all day yesterday feeling like I got hit by a bus and have a massive bruise now. It was strange because I had zero reaction to my original COVID injections.

    • Jenn says:

      Sorry to piggyback on your comment, but as a PSA to anyone with overreactive autoimmune systems (and who *aren’t* on immunosuppressants), please consider trying Novavax. 🙂 The FDA just approved it. I am pleased to report that my only symptom was a headache that went away with Aleve. It’s a good option if you’ve ever been surprised by side effects, and it’s no less effective than the other two. You do kind of have to search around for it, but it was available at my local Costco pharmacy.

      Another great tip I received was to take an antihistamine or two before I went in for both shots. An antihistamine might help your bruising heal faster, as well, Chips. Please feel better!

  15. Normades says:

    Got both this week at the same time. No side effects at all.

  16. Anne says:

    Got both of mine as soon as the new COVID came out. Got COVID three weeks later.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Were your symptoms manageable, or did you have to go to the hospital? I ask because the vaccines are to help prevent us from getting very ill and needing a hospital.

  17. rawiya says:

    I got both done and the same time. I was mostly fine, except for a sore armpit in the Covid booster arm. Turns out, there are a lymph nodes in your underarm and the booster activates (? wording) them. Sore pits (haa!) are a common side effect. Otherwise, I felt fine. (I’m still masking in public, too. People are gross.)

  18. Tantilion says:

    I got the Shingles, Flu, Pneumonia and COVID all on the same day. I took a few days off from work and just popped Tylenol and slept it off. My best friend just got, well not completely over, a horrible bout of Shingles. I do NOT want to go through what she went through. I felt icky for 2 days, and my arm is still sore, but I know I’ll be the one taking care of everyone in the house when they get sick. Yay me! =)

    • Juniper says:

      I know a couple of people who got shingles. Holy wow it’s a bad one to get. I ran when I was eligible.

    • BeanieBean says:

      @Tantilion & @Juniper: make sure you get that second shingles vax! You need to wait at least four months, then get that second one. I had shingles in my early 30s & never EVER want to go through that again.

  19. Blithe says:

    And, of course, before reading this, I got my flu shot yesterday, planning to get my COVID shot next week. I’ve had side effects, including fatigue, from the COVID vaccines, so I decided not to mix them, especially once I learned that the office didn’t have Moderna (the only vaccine I’ve had so far).

    • Blithe says:

      Unexpected plus: I got a darker bandaid than usual, which almost matches my skin tone. This rarely happens, so: yay.

      This reminds me that I seriously considered going to NYC when the Museum of Natural History was a vaccine site. Yes, such a trip would have involved multiple crowded train and subway stations and multiple crowded trains — with multiple opportunities to catch and spread Covid. But I would have gotten a special sticker and the chance to do a selfie with the iconic blue whale and its own then-iconic gargantuan bandage. Never underestimate the power of a really good sticker!

  20. Tootsie McJingle says:

    Ooo this is good to read. I got both at the same time and the only side effect was sore arms for a couple of days.

  21. J.Ferber says:

    So glad my family did that. Husband and I also got the RSV vaccine.

  22. Juniper says:

    I got mine a few weeks ago, not at the same time but within 2 hours of each other. I hope that counts. The flu shot was at work, and I went to CVS for the Covid booster. You all reminded me I needed my final Hep A&B shot so I scheduled that for this evening. It’s a pain to be Gen X and realize all these vaccines came out after you were an adult and you have to catch up. The Hep one is a series of 3 so a huge PITA.

  23. BeanieBean says:

    Well, yay, me! I got all three at one time: latest COVID booster, flu, & RSV. Had sore arms later in the evening, but that was it. I’ve never been one of those people who gets, fever, chills, whatever after vaccinations, just the occasional sore arm later in the day.