Omicron Booster side effects and flu shot at the same time

  • Side effects from the latest COVID-19 booster are similar to those associated with previous doses.
  • Mild swelling or redness at the injection site, fatigue and headache are normal.
  • Health officials say it is safe to get the flu vaccine and COVID vaccine in the same visit.

The Omicron booster injection recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention may cause some mild side effects, but it’s nothing we’ve ever seen before.

People who received the shots in clinical trials reported local reactions – such as pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site – similar to those experienced after the second or third dose of the vaccine, according to a CDC report on the new boosters.

About half of the test participants also experienced some fatigue after being boosted, although they received a slightly different version than the shots that are now available to the public.

The four most common side effects for the trial version of Omicron’s specific booster included:

  • arm pain at the injection site
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • myalgia (generalized muscle aches and pains) after the shot has been administered

Updated boosters from Pfizer and Moderna were designed to respond to versions of the Omicron variant currently in circulation, according to the CDC. While past iterations of the vaccines have targeted the original virus causing COVID-19, the new shots punch two of the “ancestral” strain and the latest variant.

You may hear the shot called a “bivalent booster”, as it fights not one but two versions of the virus (the original strain and omicron BA.4 / 5). This is not to be confused with vaccines that protect against the flu virus, which are delivered in a separate injection each year.

You can get a COVID-19 booster and a flu shot at the same time

The CDC recommends all people over the age of 12 to supplement their COVID protection with a bivalent booster injection this season, especially if it’s been more than two months since the previous dose.

This week, the agency announced that children between the ages of 5 and 11 can also receive the new booster two months after the last dose.

As flu season approaches, some people may choose to receive their flu boosters and vaccines in one visit. According to the CDC, everyone should ideally be vaccinated against the flu by the end of October, but after that it’s better than ever.

Health officials said it’s not only safe, but also convenient to get both shots on the same day. At a press conference in September, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha said, “God has given us two arms: one for the flu shot and the other for the COVID vaccine.”

While it’s safe to get a double hit this season, it may carry a slightly higher risk of side effects the next day.

According to a CDC study published in JAMA in July, people who received a flu shot and a booster vaccine with COVID-19 mRNA at the same time were more likely (between 8% and 11%) to report reactions such as fatigue. , headache and muscle aches. Side effects tended to be mild and resolved quickly.

Did you get the bivalent booster and the flu shot at the same time? Contact amichelson@insider.com to share your story

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