One visit, two shots: COVID-19 and flu vaccines can be taken together

Published January 11, 2022


One visit, two shots: COVID-19 and flu vaccines can be taken together

Last year's flu season was mild because of mask-wearing, social distancing, hand-washing and other prevention measures. This year, influenza (the flu) seems to be making a come back. 

"Many people have stopped taking prevention measures, which can affect how easily the flu or COVID-19 spreads in a community," says infectious diseases expert Angela Hewlett, MD. "To protect yourself and those around you, you should get vaccinated for COVID and the flu." 

3 quick facts about flu shots:

  1. You can get your flu shot at the same time as your COVID-19 vaccine.
  2. The flu vaccine this year is designed to protect you against four different flu viruses.
  3. A flu vaccine can't cause the flu.

I haven't been vaccinated against COVID-19 yet. Can I get both shots together?

Yes. Flu shots and COVID-19 vaccines can be taken safely together

Flu shots are available at all Nebraska Medicine primary care clinics and pharmacies. 

  • Walk in to any Nebraska Medicine pharmacy during regular business hours, or
  • Call 800.922.0000 to schedule a primary care appointment

COVID-19 vaccines are available at some Nebraska Medicine pharmacies.

Does the flu shot protect me against COVID-19?

The influenza immunization is effective against influenza only. Likewise, COVID-19 vaccines only protect against COVID-19. This is because the viruses that cause these illnesses are different. 

Find out the differences between COVID-19 and the flu.

Can a flu vaccine give you the flu?

No, flu vaccines don't cause flu illness. (Likewise, COVID-19 vaccines also can't give you COVID-19.) You may feel some short-term side effects, like a low-grade fever or sore arm. These side effects usually last one to two days.

What will this year's flu season look like?

Last year's flu season was very mild, likely due to COVID-19 prevention efforts like wearing face masks, staying home, hand-washing, distancing, school closures and reduced travel. Lately, many people have relaxed their social distancing and mask-wearing.

That, combined with a return to in-person school and work, makes it increasingly important to receive the influenza vaccine this year.

What's the best way to know if I have the flu or COVID-19?

A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is the most accurate way to see if you have COVID-19 or influenza. Antigen tests are also available for COVID-19 and influenza, but these tests may not be as accurate as PCR testing. Previous PCR tests did not confuse COVID-19 cases for influenza cases

See how to get tested for COVID-19.

Ways to protect yourself during flu season