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Flu shots amid the pandemic | Health Beat with Brea Love

Flu season is here and our ABC10 Health Expert answered some frequently asked questions.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Flu season is here and ABC10 Health Expert Dr. Payal Kohli answered some frequently asked questions surrounding vaccination.

There's talk of getting one vaccine that protects against COVID-19 and the flu. Kohli said there's data that suggests people can safely combine the two vaccines, but there's no single shot yet. She said if there was a single-dose flu and COVID-19 vaccine that does get approved, it could help with compliance. 

If someone wants to get both doses in the same visit, Kohli said that's up to each person.

"You absolutely can get them on the same day. Some people are a little more concerned about getting them together because they're worried about more side effects and such, we don't have enough data to know whether you will have slightly more side effects if you get them both together. So, if you want to space them out that's totally okay," Kohli said. 

If someone chooses to space the two vaccines out, she recommends waiting two weeks between the doses. 

Kohli said there's no specific order, but if someone is eligible for the COVID-19 booster and knows they're getting close to the eight-month mark for it, they will want to get that first. 

Doctors recommend everyone gets vaccinated against the flu by Oct. 31.

"You really want to be sure that you're protected for the peak flu season, which is essentially through the end of April. So, you really want about six months. That's how long the antibodies last, you want that protection to be optimized. 

If you wait too long to get it, the flu activity starts to go up and you're not protected early in the season. If you get it too early, the flu activity hasn't gone up yet and you're not protected late in the season," Kohli said. 

She said the notion of getting two vaccines at once isn't new. It's actually something doctors do often. 

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