Should you get a timely Covid-19 Booster or the Flu Shot vaccinations? Get both. Blue Heron Chiropractic supports public health vaccination protocols. A number of patients are asking about timing the Covid Booster or the 2022 Flu Shot. In case you don’t want to read to the end – you can get both of these at the same time, and the CDC is actually recomending you do it that way. If you have just recovered from a Covid-19 infection, you can choose to wait 3 months and then get your next booster. Otherwise, request boosters for Covid not less than 2 months apart and probably not more than 6 months apart – depending on the vaccine.
I am frequently talking to patients who got their last Covid shot or one booster almost a full year ago. They are “thinking about” getting a booster update, but have not gotten around to it. Others have forgotten about their flu shot, because getting the Covid-19 shot was difficult to schedule. Some th0ought they could not get them both. Some thought that getting one handled the other. Some thought that by having had the virus once, they would not get it again; this is not correct.
Most of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines have proven to be extremely effective in decreasing the severity of the symptoms of Covid 19, and decreasing the chances of hospitalization and grave consequences. The latest series of booster vaccines in the United states are typically bivalent as of September 2022, and are targeting the BA-4 and BA-5 variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that caused the pandemic that became known as COVID-19.
The “Flu” vaccine in the US is often a quad-valent vaccine aimed at warding off four strains, two Influenza “A” virus and two Influenza “B” flu viruses. As these “Influenza” viruses are distinctly different from their “Coronavirus” counterparts – not just in name but in entire morphology – the vaccines produce different results. After the Flu vaccine, symptoms of the flu may never develop – you may not actually “get” the flu after vaccination. Covid-19 is different. While the Covid-19 vaccines and boosters will not reliably prevent a new infection – you can get it again – the vaccine is expected to do well to discourage the illness from taking over and worsening into a severe infection.
By the way, for a really nice quick overview of the Covid-19 vaccines, here is something from the CDC about the vaccines.
A wise provider won’t typically give both vaccines simultaneously in the same arm, as any combined adverse reactions from both together could be confusing, but sometimes you have specify. Getting them together makes it slightly more difficult to assess adverse reactions. It should also be remembered that the development of increased immunity from an injection takes several weeks to manifest. The feelings of mild illness you might feel after the shot is actually your immune system working to develop a level of immunity. Depending on the shots you get, your reaction may change.
Immunity – once developed – will remain at that level for some time (perhaps three months) and then, depending on your system, begin to taper off until almost gone. At a point 6 months after your prior vaccination or even from a prior infection, your immunity level has dropped and may not be sufficient to reliably ward off a new, severe infection. This is even more relevant if the strain of the virus is a new and different variant, and keep in mind that forming mutations is literally what these viruses do regularly.
Recommendations currently suggest that if you have recently recovered from a Covid-19 infection, you can choose to wait 3 months before your next Booster.
Some questions to ask yourself are,
How is my current immune level? When was my last shot? When did I recover from a prior Covid-19 infection?
How is my risk profile? Am I constantly in close quarters with unknown people, in crowded multi-national areas, in Cabs, Lyfts or Ubers, in busy stores within 6 feet of people in unknown environments? Am I around a lot of unvaccinated people?
Am I immune compromised in any way, and is there anything that might weaken my body to respond to serious challenge – for example, like diabetes, obesity or anemia?
Are you in a senior age group, or do you live with someone who is in a senior or advanced age group, or – as above – has an immune compromise? You may want to protect your household. If you are immune compromised, the timing and strategy my change depending on your status.
The Flu shot is an important Public Health element. It should not be prioritized above a timely Covid-19 Booster update – get them both. If you have any questions about this, certainly ask your primary care provider, or discuss it with me at your next appointment at Blue Heron Chiropractic.
Both the Covid-19 vaccines and the Flu Shot are available at modern stores like Fred Meyer, Safeway, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and many others. If you have any difficulty finding one, come on in and during your chiropractic session we will bring it up on the web. Access Chiropractic safely and securely at Blue Heron Chiropractic & Healing Arts Center.