Right. Some public health officials are strongly recommending that both the flu vaccine and the new bivalent booster be given at the same time, said Dr Asish Jha, White House pandemic response leader, commented in a press conference that “God has given us two arms: one for the flu shot and the other for the Covid shot.”
Overall, vaccine combinations are not uncommon: children often get multiple shots at once, said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco. And getting two shots at once means you’re less likely to forget or skip either, he adds. “Convenience outweighs everything,” he said.
Most people will want one shot in each arm, says Dr. Chin-Hong, but you can get both vaccines in the same arm – you just might get more pain. “It’s personal preference — there’s no medical reason to do it one way or the other,” said Dr. Adam Ratner, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at NYU Langone.
People who choose two vaccines at the same time may experience more side effects, similar to both shots: pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue. A small number of people may have a fever.
If you want to be widely vaccinated, you may want to schedule your flu shot in the late fall to protect against the vaccine when cases start to increase in the winter. You can also track flu developments in your state, through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention flu monitoring reports, to assess whether you want to get vaccinated now or later.