Winter Vaccine Season; Is a “Twofer” Right for You?

Winter Vaccine Season; Is a “Twofer” Right for You?

November is the month we get serious about prepping for winter–and that includes our annual flu shots. And for those with underlying medical conditions, those who live and/or work in high-risk environments, and those over 65, it’s also time to get a Covid booster shot.

For those who qualify, make it a “twofer”

The logical question follows: Is it okay to get your flu shot and COVID-19 booster at the same time? Health experts say yes, and many doctors encourage Americans to get both at once—a shot in each arm.

According to Ranit Mishori, MD, a professor of family medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine. “Get one in each arm. It’s an efficient and effective way to make sure you’re protected.” Mishori notes that the same goes for those who are immunocompromised and might want to time their third dose to their flu shot.

As lousy as last year was, we didn’t have a flu season

Our obsessive masking, handwashing and cocooning last year meant that the flu season was nonexistent. This season’s outlook is not so optimistic. Experts are predicting a big flu surge for all the usual reasons—kids are back in school, people are traveling, airports are crowded—these are the perfect breeding grounds for infection. The lack of mask mandates in many parts of the country are also contributing to the likelihood of widespread infection.

It’s especially important for older adults—those over 65–to get both shots this year. Fueled by the surging Delta variant, Covid cases are on the rise as the flu season is kicking off.

Why the CDC updated its vaccine guidance

The agency changed its guidance in May after data showed that the Covid vaccine was safe and that other vaccines would not interfere with the immune response, experts say. “We wanted to really assess the side effects of the Covid vaccine as we rolled it out. We didn’t want to get that confused by giving other vaccines at the same time,” says William Schaffner, MD, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.

According to the CDC, Covid and other vaccines can be administered “without regard to timing. This includes simultaneous administration of the Covid and other vaccines on the same day, as well as co-administration within 14 days.”

What about side effects?

It’s unclear whether getting the Covid vaccine at the same time as another shot will exacerbate your side effects. But experts say it’s possible. “You may feel worse,” Mishori says. “If you’re one of these people who often has side effects to medication or vaccinations in particular, symptoms may increase if you co-administer two different vaccines. If you plan to get “double-jabbed”, don’t make any big plans for a few days after your appointment. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help you feel better. Side effects are temporary and a sign the vaccines are working.

It’s also okay to space out your vaccinations

If you are concerned about side effects from two shots at once, clinicians say it’s perfectly fine to space out your Covid booster and other vaccines. Experts caution that delay increases the risk that you will get sick before you’re protected. The overriding message: Catching Covid will be far worse than any potential risk in increased side effects. The CDC recommends flu shots for everyone 6 months and older.

Those over 65 should request the high-dose flu shot

According to the CDC, those age 65 or older should request either the high-dose flu shot or the adjuvanted flu vaccine. Both produce a stronger immune response and more protection for older adults. After you get the flu vaccine, it will take 10 to 14 days before you’re fully protected. This year’s flu vaccine protects against two new influenza strains in addition to last year’s, and it takes time for your body to make new antibodies.

In contrast, it will take only two to three days for the Covid booster to kick up your immunity, experts say, because your body is already primed from your vaccines earlier this year.

What about sneaking in a shingles or pneumonia vaccine?

The CDC doesn’t place limits on the number of vaccinations you can get at the same time as a Covid vaccination. If you haven’t received a pneumonia and or shingles vaccinations, this is a good time to schedule these shots as well. Ask anyone who’s had shingles, and they’ll tell you that it’s extremely painful.

Creating/updating your Living Trust

As you prepare your home for winter and get caught up on vaccines that will help you and your family stay healthy through the coming months, this is also a great time to create or update your Living Trust. With families gathered for the holidays, it’s also the perfect time to encourage aging family members to create their Living Trusts.

When creating your Living Trust with Guideway, you’ll work with a dedicated specialist who is available for questions and support throughout the process. We’ve been in business since 2003 and have expanded to three Bay Area offices–Dublin, Oakland and Walnut Creek. More than 60% of our business comes from referrals and repeat business.

We’re proud of our comprehensive Living Trust package that includes a Power of Attorney and Advanced Healthcare Directive. We provide a hard copy as well as a soft copy of your documents. More questions? Contact us today.

Guideway services the entire Bay Area

Berkeley, El Cerrito, Richmond, Pinole, Alameda, San Leandro, Castro Valley Newark, San Lorenzo, Concord, Alamo, Danville, Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Discovery Bay, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Livermore, Tracy and Fremont. Our clients also live in the Napa Valley, Benicia, Vallejo, Martinez, Fairfield.