November 03, 2021

How Should I Time My Flu and COVID-19 Shots?

Man receiving a vaccine from a female nurse.

Every fall, healthcare providers offer a flu vaccine formulated to fight what’s expected to be the most prevalent strain of the virus during the upcoming flu season. This year is no different. However, many people wonder how they should time getting a COVID-19 vaccination or booster shot and their flu shot.

Part of the reason there’s confusion around this issue is that when the COVID-19 vaccines first became available, some health experts recommended that there be weeks or more between those vaccines and other vaccinations. But since that time, more research has been done and more data has been analyzed, and the consensus is that you can get a COVID-19 shot and a flu shot on the same visit to your doctor, pharmacy, or other vaccination site. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same visit. Experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, and possible side effects after getting vaccinated are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines.”

Don’t take a chance with your health.

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to prevent COVID-19 infection and end the pandemic. The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19, but it can help protect you from serious illness. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and make a first, third, or booster vaccination appointment at a location near you. 

It’s Important to Get Vaccinated Against Both COVID-19 and the Flu as Soon as Possible

If you can schedule both a COVID-19 shot and a flu shot in one visit, and that visit can occur soon, that’s ideal for your protection and convenience. But if there will be a delay in getting either shot for some reason, you should get the vaccination that’s available as soon as possible. 

COVID-19 is continuing to spread, of course, and cases of the flu increase in the fall, so you want to get whatever protection you can as soon as you can. It would be unfortunate to, for example, contract COVID-19 because you delayed your vaccination to time it with your healthcare provider’s first opening for a flu shot. 

And the same applies to delays for any other reason. For example, if you have an annual physical scheduled for a month from now but can get vaccinated for COVID-19 and the flu this week, you should get your shots this week.

Being Vaccinated for COVID-19 Doesn’t Protect You from the Flu

While COVID-19 and the flu are both caused by viruses, they’re different viruses. Consequently, being vaccinated for COVID-19 doesn’t mean you can skip your flu shot this year. In fact, with the strain that the COVID-19 pandemic is putting on the healthcare system, it’s more important than ever that you get a flu shot to keep yourself from getting seriously ill.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and the annual flu shot from Baptist Health. 

Next Steps and Useful Resources:

Schedule Your COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment
Get Tested for COVID-19
Flu vs. COVID-19: How to Tell the Difference
COVID-19 and Flu Safety Tips From a Doctor

Learn More.