GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – With the global pandemic sticking around, it appears flu season will overlap once again with COVID-19 during the fall and winter months.
As part of our “Ask the Expert” series, in partnership with Bon Secours St. Francis Health, 7NEWS spoke with a nurse practitioner about vaccinations for both and what order you should get the shots.
Nurse Practitioner, Bon Secours St. Francis Elizabeth Lacy said, “You can go ahead and get the flu shot and the COVID shot at the same time.”
Lacy said guidance is directly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who at first recommended waiting two weeks between the vaccines until new data showed that wasn’t necessary.
“And that is whether it’s your first covid shot, your second, or if you’re getting that third dose booster shot,” Lacy said.
It doesn’t matter whether you get the COVID-19 vaccine or the flu shot first.
Health experts say both are important to stopping community spread.
Nurse Lucy said if you want full protection from the flu– now is the time to get the shot.
“It does take two weeks for you and your body to ramp up the full immunity and for you to be fully protected after receiving your flu shot. That’s why it’s important to get it before the start of flu season,” Lacy said.
Nurse Lucy said some people do experience mild side effects after being vaccinated.
“A little bit of a sore arm for a day or so at the injection site. That is not uncommon at all. A few people will have a little bit worse side effects, things like a headache, body aches, maybe a low-grade fever,” Lacy said.
If you’ve had severe reactions to the flu vaccine in the past or have an egg allergy you should let the healthcare professional administering your shot know.
“There actually is a flu shot available that is egg-free. If you have a severe reaction to egg, like an anaphylaxis reaction, be sure that whoever is giving you that shot is aware of that and can get you the proper dose,” Lacy said.
Bon Secours and Francis Health System will be holding flu clinics from Oct. 2 until Oct. 8 at the locations and times are listed below:
- Saturday, Oct. 2, 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., St. Sebastian Church 2300 Old Buncombe Road Greenville, SC 29609
- Wednesday, Oct. 6, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., Triune Mercy Center 222 Rutherford Street, Greenville, SC 29609
- Sunday, Oct. 3, 12 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., St. Sebastian Church 2300 Old Buncombe Road Greenville, SC 29609
- Friday, Oct. 8, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., Sterling Community Center 113 Minus Street Greenville, SC 29601
For more information on getting the COVID-19 vaccine from Bon Secours St. Francis Health Provider, click here.