COVID-19 booster, flu vaccinations questions answered ahead of peak flu season

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Flu season is off to an early start, one thing that is top of mind for many is vaccinations.

With flu vaccines and COVID-19 boosters, many are left wondering which one to get and if they can get them at the same time.

Dr. Paul Richardson, the Chief Medical Officer at Conway Medical Center clarified questions about both vaccinations.

“The question is, ‘can you get both?’” said Dr. Richardson. “You actually can. the CDC has said you can actually get both. You really can have them administered at the same time. Some people may not want to do that for various reasons, but you can do that.”

Richardson said the new COVID-19 vaccine, bivalent, has protection against the Omicron variant as opposed to previous vaccinations.

He recommends getting a head start before the peak of the flu and other variants of COVID-19, as it should keep you better protected.

“Lot of patients have asked me before saying, ‘well I got my shots and I still got sick’,” correct!” said Dr. Richardson. “Some people may be completely protected, a few. Some people may be but the goal of these vaccinations especially in regards to COVID-19 was hopefully to protect folks from progressing to severe illness.”

The CMO also mentioned that the goal is to keep you at home away from the hospital.

Those who may be at high risks, like the elderly, and those with chronic lung disease, or diabetes, should also consider getting both vaccinations.

While Dr. Richardson knows there have been several COVID-19 vaccinations in the past, he’s more concerned about this year’s “flu-covid” season than others.

“The thing I’m more worried about is people not getting vaccinations,” he said. “Especially that vulnerable population because you know for whatever reason maybe they’re just sort of vaccine fatigue.”

Richard told WMBF News there is a good supply of both vaccinations.

Appointments can be scheduled at CMC’s primary locations or local drug stores.