Connecticut Children's Medical Center

12/06/2022 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/06/2022 10:50

Ask a Pediatrician: Can Kids Get the COVID-19 Vaccine and Flu Shot at the Same Time?

You ask, we answer. In each edition of "Ask a Pediatrician," Connecticut Children's pediatric experts respond to a question from our community.

Many parents wonder if their child can get both immunizations at once.

Connecticut Children's Physician-in-Chief Juan C. Salazar, MD, MPH, FAAP, answers.

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Is it safe for my child to get the COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot at the same time?

Dr. Salazar: Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have determined that it's safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other routine vaccines, including the flu shot.

Flu shots are readily available and it's not too late. Kids don't need to wait between vaccines. More on this below.

Why did the CDC change its guidance about waiting between a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines?

When the COVID-19 vaccine was first authorized in the U.S., the CDC recommended waiting several weeks between it and other vaccines. This was out of an abundance of caution, since the COVID-19 vaccine was brand new to all of us.

Now, countless doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the U.S. alone, and experts can see that it's performing as expected. They feel confident that it doesn't interact with other vaccines, and can be safely and effectively administered at the same time.

> Related: Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Linked to Heart Problems in Young People?

Will getting the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine at the same time affect how well each works?

In general, both vaccines should offer the same protection whether they're given alone or together.

What about getting the COVID-19 shot and flu shot around the same time, but not the same day?

That's fine. It's just as safe and effective for your child to get a COVID-19 shot and a flu shot on the same day as it is to get them several days or weeks (or months) apart.

Can I schedule a single doctor's visit for my child's COVID-19 shot and flu shot?

You'll need to talk to your child's pediatrician about what's possible, since it depends on how both vaccines are distributed in your community.

Your child's pediatrician should always be your main point of contact for any health questions or updates. If your child gets the COVID-19 shot or flu shot from somewhere other than their pediatrician's office, be sure to let their pediatrician know so they can add it to their medical records.

> Related: Vaccinations are Important Now More than Ever

Will getting the COVID-19 shot and the flu shot at the same time cause any new or unusual side effects?

According to the CDC, no. However, your child could still experience some typical side effects from the COVID-19 shot and the flu shot.

For instance, the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine can both cause soreness where they're injected. Because of this, your child's vaccine provider may suggest using different parts of the body for each injection, like giving the flu shot in the right arm and the COVID-19 shot in the left arm.

Your child could also experience fatigue, headache, body aches and low-grade fever as a side effect from one or both vaccines.

All of these symptoms are generally mild and go away within one to two days.

What other topics would you like us to address in our "Ask a Pediatrician" series? Let us know at [email protected].

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