CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – As health professionals administer the COVID-19 vaccine, they’re warning the public about receiving the flu shot at the same time. 

Since COVID-19 is a new vaccine, experts say it’s best to take extra precautions when getting it.

“You are not supposed to have a flu shot or any shot within 14 days of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine or even 14 days after receiving the covid-19 vaccine, so it minimizes reaction,” Dr. Sherri Young, Kanawha-Charleston Health Department said.

If you keep the shots at least 14 days apart from one another, it helps doctors see how your body is reacting to either shot. So far, there have been no reports of serious side effects to the COVID-19 vaccine.

“At this point, we’ve given over 735 vaccines. Of the 735 vaccines, nobody has reported any major reactions. People have described it a little bit like a tetanus shot. Your arm is a little bit sore the next day, a little bit of headache or fatigue,” Dr. Young said.

If you’ve had coronavirus in the past, or currently have it, doctors say it’s best to wait to get the vaccine.

“It’s more of a risk-based strategy. So, if someone has had COVID-19 and they’re recovering, then they should have protective antibodies a little bit longer. So, while we have very short supply of vaccine, those people may need to be moved a little further down on the scale,” Dr. Young said.

Doctors say the day you receive a vaccine, you start building antibodies and protection against COVID-19, but it still takes a while to fully get into your system.
“For the full benefit and immunity for the covid-19 vaccine, it’s going to be that second shot at 21 days and then a couple of weeks after that you’ll have about 95 percent immunity,” Dr. Young said.

Experts say, plan on wearing a mask well into new year even if you received the vaccine. The vaccine is 95% effective, however it’s that 5% that could affect others not vaccinated yet.