Can You Get A Flu Shot and COVID-19 Vaccine (Once One Is Approved)?

Health experts are urging flu shots this year as they warn of a "twindemic." But could you get a flu shot and COVID-19 shot when the FDA approves one?
Posted at 4:53 PM, Sep 24, 2020

Flu vaccine manufacturers have raised production to record levels with nearly 200 million doses for the US. It’s in preparation for what some doctors have called a “twindemic” — flu and COVID-19 season. 

The CDC recommends people get a flu shot as early as September and October this season and as late as January.

 Only a few Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine trials are underway. Johnson and Johnson started theirs this week. 

Right now, little is known about how a flu and COVID-19 vaccine would work together and if you could get both.

"Biologically speaking, there should be no interaction between those two," said Dr. Andrew Pekosz, virologist with Johns Hopkins University.

Pekosz says the flu shot doesn't protect someone against the coronavirus, but it wouldn't make some more susceptible either. He says if someone got both a flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine, once one is approved, they shouldn’t have a bad reaction.

"They're very different viruses that induce very different immune response," he said.

Each year, about half the population gets a flu shot. The CDC is hoping that at least 60% of the population gets one this year. Health experts are watching closely, thinking flu shot numbers could be an indicator of many people would get a COVID-19 shot.

But a new Newsy/IPSOS poll found fewer people are interested in getting an FDA approved coronavirus vaccine. 56% of those asked said they would be interested. That’s down from 69 percent when we asked less than two months ago.

Dr. Daniel Salmon, an expert on vaccine safety, says much has to be done to let the public know how safe an approved COVID-19 vaccine would be. 

"If this comes from science and evidence and it's done with rigor and objectivity and transparency and people see what makes the sausage they should have confidence in the outcome,"Salmon, Director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety, Johns Hopkins University said.