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Question

Can my child get a COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine at the same visit?

Sean O'Leary, MD, MPH, FAAP

Answer

Can children get COVID-19?

Yes. Children ages 6 months and older who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination can get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same visit.

If your child is 6 months or older, it is important to get their COVID-19 vaccine and annual flu vaccine as soon as possible. You can get both vaccines at the same time, but don't delay either vaccination to get them both at the same visit. Both vaccines are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Your child should get the recommended doses for each vaccine.

All children 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine. Most children will only need one dose of flu vaccine if they have been vaccinated before. Your pediatrician can tell you if your child needs two doses of flu vaccine.

Is it possible to be infected by both viruses at once?

Yes. Children can be infected by the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. The flu and other viruses have started to spread alongside COVID-19 now that more of us are in school, at work and traveling again.

And we know that children infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can spread the virus—and catch it from other children and adults. COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than influenza.

By getting both the COVID-19 vaccine and influenza vaccine for your child, you can prevent the spread of these viruses.

During the pandemic when many people stayed home, common viruses like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and the flu did not spread as easily. This year, many respiratory viruses are spreading as people gather unmasked indoors and in large groups.

Can babies & kids get very sick from COVID & flu?

Yes. Babies have the most risk of getting very sick from influenza and COVID-19. And we know that the highest hospital rates from both COVID and flu are among the youngest children. Most children and adolescents who need to be hospitalized for COVID-19 illness are not vaccinated.

Other diseases that used to be gone thanks to routine vaccines are coming back in the U.S. Because of the pandemic, not as many kids had the check-ups that they need with their pediatrician to stay healthy. And, more kids were delayed in getting their recommended immunizations.

Vaccination rates around the world are at the lowest level in 30 years. Because many diseases like polio and measles are just a plane ride away, falling behind on vaccines means can put your child at risk if they are exposed. So, it is important to keep your children up-to-date on their immunizations.

Remember

To keep young children and others at high risk of serious illness protected requires careful steps by all of us. That includes getting the vaccine for all eligible children and adolescents who are 6 months of age and older, wearing face masks, physical distancing and screening.

If we all work together to control the spread of the virus, we can keep our communities safe and keep kids in day care, school and daily activities.

More Information

    Sean O'Leary, MD, MPH, FAAP

    Sean O'Leary, MD, MPH, FAAP, is a pediatric infectious diseases expert at the University of Colorado and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society Liaison to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Within the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), he is a member of the Childhood Immunization Support Program Project Advisory Committee, the Committee on Infectious Diseases, the Section on Infectious Diseases, and the Council on School Health. Dr. O'Leary is also a Chapter Immunization Representative for the Colorado Chapter of the AAP.

    Last Updated
    7/25/2022
    The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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