How to plan your seasonal shoots for the fall (2023)

most important point

  • Influenza and RSV vaccines will be available to certain groups starting this month.
  • Time is of the essence. Protection against influenza wanes throughout the season, but protection against RSV does not.
  • While newer COVID-19 vaccines are imminent, there is still no official advice on timing or eligibility for the COVID-19 booster vaccine.

Time to start thinking about flu season.

This month, pharmacies and doctor's offices will begin offering the 2023-2024 flu vaccine. Meanwhile, some people will be able to receive another shot against respiratory disease: the new RSV vaccine.

Yes: You can get both vaccines at the same time.

"If the only time you can be vaccinated is at the same time, then you must be vaccinated at the same time."Amesh Adaja, MDAn infectious disease expert and senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, Vivel said. "Receiving injections in separate arms is ideal, but injecting at the same time can lead to more side effects such as arm pain, fatigue and discomfort."

Here's what you need to know about both vaccines and how a potential COVID-19 booster later this fall could play a role in your vaccination schedule.

Influenza vaccine

In the United States, flu season begins in October and lasts through May.

"Each year, the flu vaccine is developed based on the flu viruses that were circulating at the end of last year's flu season."William Schaffner MDHe told Vivel, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville. "That's why everyone 6 months and older should get a flu shot every year before flu season begins."

Pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS have started stocking flu shots. You can visit the pharmacy without an appointment or make an appointment on the pharmacy's website.

Who needs a flu shot?

From 6 months of age, almost everyone should get an annual flu shot. Despite previous warnings about egg flu vaccine technology, this includes people with egg allergies.

A CDC spokesperson told CDC's Verywell that "in the past, people with severe allergic reactions to eggs have been advised to take additional precautions" when getting the egg flu vaccine. ). "The CDC Vaccine Advisory Committee voted that people with egg allergies can receive any flu vaccine (with or without eggs) that is appropriate for their age and health status. In addition to recommending any vaccine, the flu vaccine is no longer recommended. Vaccinations take extra safety precautions ."

i standNoYou may be eligible for the flu vaccine if you have had a severe reaction to a vaccine in the past or are allergic to ingredients such as gelatin (other than eggs).Some people with Guillain-Barré syndrome may also not be eligible for the flu vaccine. However, there are different types of flu shots, so check with your doctor to see if there is a safe option for you.

How to plan a flu shot

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some people should consider getting vaccinated as soon as possible, even in August:

  • No one you know can schedule a flu shot in September or October.
  • Pregnant women in the third trimester.
  • Children under 8 years of age who have never had a flu vaccine before and need two doses of the vaccine.

But most people should wait until the fall for optimal protection against the flu, especially adults 65 and older and pregnant women in their first and second trimesters.

"I don't recommend getting a flu shot too soon because your protection wanes over the course of the season, so I usually recommend October," Adallia said.

You can get the flu vaccine at the same time as the RSV vaccine if a combination vaccine fits your schedule best.

Which flu vaccine should I get?

haydifferent versions of the flu vaccine,Includes nasal spray approved for ages 2-49. The CDC does not recommend one flu vaccine over another for people under 65. But people 65 and older should get a higher dose of the flu vaccine for optimal protection. These vaccines include Fluzon High-Dose Quadrivalent Vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent Recombinant Influenza Vaccine, and Fluad Quadrivalent Adjuvanted Influenza Vaccine.

possible side effects

Side effects of the flu vaccine may include:

  • Pain, redness and/or swelling at the injection site
  • mild headache
  • fever
  • nausea
  • Muscle pain
  • Occasionally fainting


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common virus that usually causes mild cold-like symptoms. Most people recover within a week or two. But infants and older adults are more likely to develop severe RSV and require hospitalization.

Can adults get RSV?

U.S. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the first RSV vaccines. bothAbriswar, manufactured by Pfizer, andAlexvilleIt is made by GlaxoSmithKline and will be available in doctors' offices and pharmacies from mid-August.walgreensIt has been announced that people can now start scheduling RSV vaccine appointments.

Who needs the RSV vaccine?

Adults 60 and older are eligible for the RSV vaccine, and the CDC recommends discussing the vaccine with a doctor first.

The agency does not strongly recommend the vaccine because of a rare risk of atrial fibrillation, problems with heart clots, and a rare risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Centre for Disease Control and PreventionRecently also recommendedAll infants younger than 8 months entering their first RSV season will receive a new approved injection calledhappiness(nirsevimab). Children under 19 months who are still considered vulnerable to severe RSV are also eligible. The vaccine is expected to be available this fall.

How to schedule an RSV vaccination

Doctors say eligible people should get vaccinated as soon as possible to be protected before the RSV season begins, which typically occurs in September and runs through the spring.

"People should get the RSV vaccine as soon as it becomes available because its duration is not shortened by one season," Adalja said.

You can get the flu vaccine and the RSV vaccine on the same day. Be prepared for arm pain, Adaja added.

possible side effects

Although RSV vaccines were well tolerated in clinical trials,common side effectsMay include:

  • pain at the injection site
  • fatigue
  • painful muscles
  • Headache
  • joint stiffness

How about a COVID-19 booster?

In June, the advisory committee becameThe FDA voted unanimouslyDevelopment of a new COVID-19 vaccine to protect against the XBB.1.5 variant.

Your next COVID-19 vaccine may have a new formulation for the XBB.1.5 variant

Although the vaccine is expected to be available in the fall, the CDC will make recommendations about who should get the updated vaccine, when, and whether it can be given at the same time as influenza and influenza. RSV vaccine.

last season, the simultaneous flu and COVID-19 vaccine is considered safe.

what this means to you

While most people should wait until September or October to get a flu shot, the flu vaccine is already available. The RSV vaccine is also available and can be given at any time of the season. Timing and eligibility for the updated COVID-19 boosters are still to be determined.

Insurance should cover these vaccines. Don't have insurance? Call 311 for a free vaccination clinic or applyfindahealthcenter.hrsa.govMany free vaccinations are available at a federally qualified health center near you by zip code.

5 Fuentes

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed research, to support the facts contained in our articles. read ourthe publishing processLearn more about how we verify data and keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

  1. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.flu season.

  2. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.Who should and should not get a flu shot.

  3. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.The CDC's 2023-2024 influenza vaccination recommendations were approved.

  4. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.Flu shots are important for children.

  5. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.Influenza vaccine safety information.

go throughfran critz
Fran Kritz is a freelance journalist specializing in consumer health and health policy. She is a staff writer for Forbes Magazine and America Magazine. News and World Report.

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