Can I get the COVID vaccine at the same time as another vaccine?


A: Sure can! The COVID vaccine can be given with other vaccines. Don’t delay and catch up on those vaccines!

On Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Moderna and Pfizer’s monovalent COVID vaccine to target the XBB.1.5 variant. On Tuesday, the CDC recommended if for everyone aged 6 months and over if it has been at least two months since the last COVID vaccine. Because the updated vaccine is rolling out in the US at the same time we are gearing up for Flu and RSV season, many folks are asking: “Can I get my COVID shot with other vaccines like Flu or RSV?”

The short answer is: Yes! Absolutely!

In fact, routine simultaneous administration of all age-appropriate doses of vaccines is recommended for children, adolescents, and adults by the CDC. This strategy can increase vaccine uptake and reduce the number of times people must go back and get more shots!

There is every reason to think that the COVID vaccine maintains its safety and ability to stimulate an immune response when given with another vaccine. In fact, other vaccines are given together all the time and there are tons of studies showing that vaccines are still safe and effective even when given together. As an example, information presented to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Tuesday showed that there is no increased risk of stroke when giving flu and COVID vaccines together in older adults.

The COVID vaccines are “reactogenic,” which means that many people experience physical symptoms of the immune system kicking in and ramping up, like headache, fatigue, fever, or sore arms. Some vaccines might be higher risk for more symptoms after vaccination, because they are also highly reactogenic (this includes tetanus and shingles shots). While it wouldn’t be dangerous to get together, it could feel lousy. If people are just not up for that, they may wish to space out their vaccines by a couple of weeks. Others may wish to minimize the amount of time they feel yucky and just go for it!

There is ONE vaccine that is suggested to space out from COVID vaccine: mpox. While there is no required minimum interval between mpox and COVID vaccines, people who are recommended to get both may wish to consider waiting 4 weeks between vaccines. This is true especially for adolescent and young adult men. This recommendation came about because of the potential for increased risk for myocarditis and pericarditis after receipt of the orthopoxvirus vaccines to prevent mpox and COVID vaccines. However, if the risk for mpox or severe disease from COVID is increased, the CDC recommends against delaying either vaccine and just getting both at the same time.

When choosing if you want to get a vaccine at the same time, ask your primary care clinician if you are behind in shots, the risks of getting a vaccine preventable illness, and what you can do to manage common symptoms after vaccination. Convenience is also an important consideration!

Stay safe. Stay well.

Those Nerdy Girls


CDC Recommendations

ACIP Timing and Spacing of Immunobiologics

ACIP September 12, 2023 Meeting Info

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