Health Advice



When should I get vaccinated for COVID-19? Flu? RSV?

Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Health & Fitness

A fresh round of flu and COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out to pharmacies, doctor's offices and clinics across the country. But when's the best time to get your shots?

There are a number of factors that can inform when you roll up your sleeve, officials and experts say. You might consider travel plans, or upcoming holiday gatherings. Maybe you live with someone who has a higher chance of becoming seriously ill from a respiratory infection, or face such risks yourself.

Despite those nuances, one thing health officials agree on: You should get your flu shot and stay current on your COVID-19 vaccines.

What vaccines will be available? And when?

Along with the annual batch of flu shots, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that everyone age 6 months and up get a newly updated COVID-19 vaccination.

Both vaccines are specifically formulated to protect against particular viral strains that officials feel will be prevalent this fall and winter.


"It's not just a booster. It's really an updated vaccine," said Dr. David Bronstein, pediatrician and infectious disease specialist with Kaiser Permanente Southern California, of the new COVID-19 vaccine. "You get your COVID vaccine and you are done, probably for a year, just like with the flu vaccine."

CVS Health said some of its pharmacies are already administering COVID vaccinations, while Walgreens said appointments might be available as early as this week. It may take another week or two before the COVID-19 vaccine is available at Kaiser and clinics operated by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

What's the best time to get the COVID-19 and flu shots?

The CDC suggests getting the flu shot sometime in September or October. But even if you miss that window, it's still important to get it, the agency says.


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