Valley medical expert explains COVID booster side effects, encourages simultaneous yearly flu vaccine


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – With the COVID-19 booster vaccine now available and flu vaccines encouraged, many have questions about whether it’s safe to receive both at the same time.

Dr. James Kravec with Mercy Health said it is safe. He says it is normal for people to experience sore arms, achy feelings throughout their body and fever or shakes after receiving the COVID booster and that it’s important not to view these as side effects, rather these are typical immunological reactions the body can have when receiving a vaccine.

Currently, the Pfizer COVID-19 booster dose is the same dosage given for the primary series. The Moderna booster is a half dose, and the Johnson & Johnson booster is the same dosage given for the first dose.

Kravec says Mercy Health has flu clinics going on the same day as COVID-19 booster clinics.

“We have them separated, different people doing them in different stations so that everything is very safe and organized. We are having people get them both at the same time, and it seems to be working fine from everything we can tell,” Kravec said.

The one recommendation Kravec has for people receiving both the COVID-19 booster and the flu shot is to use different arms. Other than that, the CDC does allow both to be administered at the same time.

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