(WJW) – If you’re unvaccinated for influenza, COVID-19, or both, health leaders say it’s okay to get vaccines at the same time, no matter the age. While flu season had minimal impact on people last year due to masking and lockdowns, that won’t be the case this year.
According to Boston Children’s Hospital, many people will have lower immunity to the flu this year than at the start of most flu seasons.
That means it’s even more important to be vaccinated for the flu this year, and health leaders continue to urge vaccinations for all age groups, especially kids 5 to 11 who have just recently become eligible for COVID-19 shots.
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The Centers for Disease Control says if you want to get the flu and COVID-19 vaccine at once, that’s okay for children and adults.
Your immune response to one vaccine won’t be affected by the other vaccine.
The CDC recommends everyone over 6-months-old get a flu vaccine. Ages five and older are also eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Here are the side effects listed for kids 5 to 11 who get the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, according to Mayo Clinic:
- Pain where the shot was given
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Decreased appetite
According to Ohio health leaders, COVID-19 vaccine side effects have been milder in children than adults. Doctors say side effects are the result of the body working to build its immune response.
Flu vaccines have similar side effects. According to the CDC, they are:
- Soreness, redness and/or swelling where the shot was given
- Headache (low grade)
- Muscle aches
Flu shots are developed to protect against the four most common influenza viruses. The CDC says the flu most commonly peaks in February.
Like the COVID-19 vaccines, you can still get the flu if you are vaccinated. The vaccine is intended to keep you from getting seriously ill.