​​When You Get Your Flu Shot And COVID Shot At The Same Time, This Is What Happens To Your Body

The United States is currently facing the prospect of what health experts are calling a "tripledemic." That name seems appropriate for the current season, as people get hit with a triple whammy of the flu, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Hospitals have already begun to see patient numbers climb as the nation braces for a surge of the three viruses. Some health specialists report that they haven't seen this many hospitalizations for the flu in 10 years. This is likely due to Americans letting their guard down after nearly three years of coping with COVID-19, per Today.

Ironically, COVID-19 was likely the main reason that flu cases nearly vanished in the U.S. over the past several years, due to people mask-wearing, refraining from travel, keeping socially distant, and avoiding public gatherings. Health experts call this phenomenon "viral interference," or when the prevalence of one virus reduces the chances of becoming infected with another. However, most people have since done away with many or all of the COVID-19 protection measures. As a result, health experts are concerned that children and the elderly are especially at risk for becoming infected with the flu, per NPR.

Health experts expect matters to only get worse as the holiday season leads to more indoor gatherings, where these viruses can easily spread. And this is before flu season even fully ramps up, per Healthline.

Based on reports from 5,305 hospitals, recent data shows that close to 80% of the nation's hospital beds are already in use, per Department of Health and Human Services data.

This is how you'll feel when you get a flu shot and COVID shot simultaneously

Considering how health experts are forecasting a high number of flu cases even as we are still battling COVID-19, many are advocating for eligible people to get the flu vaccine and the new COVID-19 booster shot at the same time. But what happens to your body if you get these two doses simultaneously?

While you may be concerned about more intense discomfort due to receiving both vaccines at once, most people who have gotten a flu shot and COVID-19 booster at the same time are reporting only mild to moderate side effects, according to the experts at Sharp Health News. Examples of these side effects include arm soreness resulting from the injection, fatigue, gastrointestinal discomfort, fever, muscle aches and headaches. However, health experts explain that these symptoms are common and are part of the immune system preparing to battle the viruses if needed.

Additionally, receiving both the flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster shot simultaneously does not reduce the potency of the vaccines, Tuhin Roy, physician and associate medical director at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center writes in an article for Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Roy adds that you may feel "crummy" for a few days after getting the shots, but they are definitely safe to get at the same time.

Nonetheless, if you've already experienced a strong reaction to a COVID-19 booster shot, the experts at Houston Methodist suggest putting a few buffer days in between the two shots. However, whatever you do, don't delay getting these shots.