Questions about multiple vaccinations

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 7:15 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Eligible people can start getting their COVID booster shots now but with fall here, what about all the other shots you might need to protect yourself. Can you take them all at the same time?

Those eligible are 65 or older, 50 or older with an underlying health condition, or working a job where you are exposed to a lot of people in the public. A Jefferson County infectious disease doctor said yes, get the booster and you are safe if you want to get a shot for the flu, pneumonia, shingles or hepatitis.

Jefferson County health leaders said the demand for the COVID booster shot has increased. This raises the questions whether you should spread out different shots a person might get to protect themselves for the fall season.

“The best way I can describe it is, our immune system knows how to walk and chew gum at the same time. The beauty of that is you can take both vaccines and get the protection that you need,” said Dr. Wesley Willeford with JCDH.

Dr. Willeford said people have been getting a variety of vaccines at the same time in the past. He doesn’t see a booster shot creating any issues for delaying getting any sort of vaccination. Another health leader says there may be some short-term side effects.

“Influenza occasionally gives people a sore arm. No question the booster will give you a sore arm and may give you a flu like illness. Shingles vaccine also give you a flu like illness,” said Dr. Don Williamson, Alabama Hospital Association.

Dr. Willeford said all side effects should go away after a few days. He added don’t delay getting any vaccination because older people need to protect themselves from the flu, pneumonia, and shingles.

“We have this amazing technology, these amazing vaccines that help to prevent disease out right and I want to make sure people can take advantage of those,” Willeford said.

The main advice talk to your doctor but as you heard there should not be any problem taking these vaccines. Dr. Willeford warned it can be particularly painful to delay shingle vaccines and the others could also put your health at risk.

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