It’s best to get COVID-19, flu vaccine early this fall, doctors say

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 9:21 PM CDT
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(CNN) - As we head into the fall, concerns continue about the spread of COVID-19, the flu and other illnesses.

Health experts say the best way to protect yourself from getting severely sick is to get vaccinated.

“It’s definitely vaccine season right now,” Dr. Barbara Bawer, with family medicine at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said.

Doctors say the most recommended vaccinations to get before fall gets in full swing are an updated COVID-19 booster and a flu shot.

“This year is going to be even more important to do both,” Dr. Bawer said.

Doctors say the flu season is expected to be more severe this year, and pair that with COVID-19, it could mean crowded hospitals.

But Dr. Bawer says you can make getting all those shots easier by stacking vaccines.

“Really, there’s no data to show that if you get them all on the same day, that’s going to make you feel worse,” Bawer said. “Or, you know, it’s going to cause more side effects because you got two or three shots instead of just one.”

Bawer says it is also important to take time to rest and don’t be afraid to give yourself a little break after getting fall vaccines. And it is best to have some over-the-counter pain medication on hand that can help relieve any discomfort.

And start early, so your body has time to build up a defense against the viruses.

“Go ahead and get them, you know, between now and absolutely, I would say no later than the first week of November,” Bawer said.

Health experts say it’s also important to ensure you are up to date on other routine vaccinations.