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KPCC: COVID-19 Update—Get a Booster Now or Wait? Plus, Why Is Brain Fog So Misunderstood?

KPCC show Air Talk recently interviewed Sam S. Torbati, MD, co-chair and medical director of the Ruth and Harry Roman Emergency Department, about when to get the influenza vaccine and whether to get it with the new COVID-19 booster at the same time. 

Since the new Omicron boosters have become available, Torbati said deciding whether to get the vaccine now or wait has its pros and cons. “I think most of us are saying that if you’re at risk for developing disease and it’s been several months since you had your last booster and you’re older and at risk, getting it earlier makes sense,” Torbati told Air Talk host Larry Mantle.  

On top of the new booster, patients also should consider getting the influenza vaccine because experts are predicting a heavy flu season. Torbati recommended getting the flu shot around October or November. “That might be the sweet spot in terms of getting it early so that our body develops immune responses and is ready to go,” Torbati told Mantle. 

It might be convenient to get both the booster and the flu shot at the same time, unless an individual tends to experience strong side effects. For those who have experienced achiness or fever after vaccination in the past, Torbati recommended spacing the booster and influenza vaccine apart.

Because SARS-CoV-2 and influenza are both respiratory viruses that can cause respiratory failure, the flu and COVID-19 share many risk factors for severe disease and mortality. COVID-19 also could evolve and start behaving like influenza, leading to yearly vaccinations, Torbati told Mantle.  

Click here to listen to the complete episode of Air Talk.