Srinagar, Sep 11: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Saturday said people can receive Covid and flu vaccine at the same time.
“You can get jabs for the flu and Covid on the same day,” said DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
“Receiving the Covid-19 vaccine and flu shot together is safe and won’t affect your immune response to either one,” he said.
Dr Hassan said it is just as safe and effective to get Covid shot and a flu shot at the same time as it is to get them several days or weeks apart.
“You can get both vaccines in the same arm, but providers should separate injection sites by at least one inch,” he said.
“However, those influenza vaccines that are more likely to cause a local reaction like the high dose or adjuvant flu vaccine should be administered in different limbs,” he added.
“Previously, the CDC had recommended that people should receive their Covid-19 vaccination alone and schedule any other vaccination at least 2 weeks before or after Covid-19 vaccination,” Dr Hassan said.
“This was out of an abundance of caution, since Covid-19 vaccine was brand new to all of us,” he said.
The DAK President said getting a flu shot in times of Covid crisis is more important than ever.
“Becoming infected with both viruses at the same time is possible and could increase the chances of becoming severely ill,” he said.
“Last year flu season was mild due to masking, social distancing, reduced travel, remote work and other mitigation measures in place because of Covid-19 pandemic,” Dr Nisar said.
“But unlike last year, this year’s flu season could be harsher as students are returning to schools, workplaces are transitioning back to in-person operation and many people have thrown caution to the wind,” he said.
“As last year flu hasn’t been able to be in circulation like it normally would, there is less of that natural immunity to the flu.
So we could have more flu cases this year than last year that makes this year’s flu shot crucial than ever,” he added.