ORLANDO, Fla. – With COVID booster shots on the way and flu season right around the corner, many are wondering if it’s OK to get protection from both illnesses at the same time.
AdventHealth epidemiologist Dr. Vincent Hsu said Thursday that he expects a more active flu season than last year.
“As masks come off, we are going to see a resurgence of the flu,” Hsu said.
He said that COVID and the flu could infect the same person.
“Get your flu shot, just like the COVID vaccine,” said Hsu, adding that someone could get both shots at the same time. “One in each arm.”
Pharmacies, like those at Walmart, are already promoting low-cost flu shots now available at most Central Florida stores.
“We want to keep everyone safe,” Dr. Shasly Ulysse from Walmart Pharmacy said. “I believe if people understand the why and the how the vaccine works in our body, then it’s a no brainer. Let’s go ahead and protect ourselves.”
Pharmacists say to call ahead to make sure a store has the flu vaccine, but at most locations no appointment is necessary.
Family Medicine Specialist Dr. Thomas Kelley from Orlando Health said he’s encouraging his patients to get both shots too, He’s also working to set the record straight when it comes to misinformation about the vaccines for those who may be hesitant.
“The vaccines just simply do not cause the illness that it’s meant to prevent,” Kelley said. “The biggest thing to dispel is that taking either of these vaccines is going to make you horribly ill and that’s just not the case. There are certainly potential for some limited side effects with either vaccine.”
Dr. Kelley said people who are hesitant should talk to their doctor.