By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — Getting the COVID vaccine or a booster shot this fall? Consider getting vaccinated against the flu as well.

That’s the message from the state’s Department of Public Health as the CDC says there’s no need to wait between getting a COVID shot and any other type of vaccine.

“A flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine can be given at the same time,” said Dr. Larry Madoff, medical director of the DPH Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences, in a statement. “Whether you are getting your first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or are eligible to receive a booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine, we encourage you to get a flu vaccine during the same visit.”

So far there have been 37 lab-confirmed flu cases in Massachusetts. Flu activity is currently low in the state and around the country, according to DPH’s weekly flu report.

But this flu season is expected to be worse than last year because more people were staying at home and wearing masks then.

“While we cannot predict the severity of this flu season, as in every season, flu vaccination remains the best way for people to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities against flu, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness and people with certain chronic health conditions,” said Acting Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke. “For residents who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 or need a booster shot, now is also a good time to get the COVID-19 vaccination.”

The flu shot is recommended every year for everyone over the age of 6 months. DPH said it’s especially important for those with chronic respiratory conditions, people with heart disease, anyone with a weakened immune system and pregnant women.

“Because flu and COVID-19 may both be circulating this fall, and may have similar symptoms, people with flu-like illness should get tested for COVID and those at higher risk for flu complications should also get tested for flu,” DPH said.

Click here to find a flu or COVID vaccine location near you. Staff