Respiratory season is among us, and it is important to get vaccinated. Adults over 65 years old who have not received any pneumococcal vaccines should get the new Prevnar 20 vaccine and adults over 60 years old may be vaccinated for RSV. Additionally, flu season is approaching and new COVID-19 guidelines are in the works. So, you may be wondering, how should I go about getting vaccinated for all of these things? The answer is not the same for everyone.
Some individuals will prefer convenience and do not want to make several trips to the pharmacy to get caught up on all of their vaccines. That is okay! The CDC has said you may receive a pneumococcal, RSV, influenza, and COVID-19 vaccine at the same visit. It is okay for most individuals to receive multiple vaccinations at once, so if you only want to make one trip to Kohll’s Rx for vaccinations this fall, that is more than okay!
If you decide to get all of your vaccines in the same day, when is the best time of the season to get all of these vaccines administered? Typically, we recommend getting the flu vaccine from the end of September through the end of October, as the flu vaccine can lose effectiveness as time goes on and you want to be covered for the duration of the flu season. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is meeting to discuss the updates to the COVID-19 guidelines on September 12th, and we will know more information after that, but for now the COVID vaccine is much like the flu vaccine in the sense that protection dwindles over time. The RSV vaccine and Prevnar 20 vaccine offer longer protection, so they are okay to get whenever it is most convenient for you. If you are planning on getting all of your vaccines together, we recommend anytime between the end of this month and the end of next month.
If you do not want to receive several injections at once, you can separate your vaccines out. There are some discussions that receiving all of your vaccines together may slightly reduce your body’s response to the vaccines, but this hasn't been confirmed in trials. Additionally, separating your vaccinations out may help reduce the intensity of side effects in comparison to getting all of your vaccines together, but it is important to note it is generally safe to receive multiple vaccinations at the same visit.
For individuals that want to separate their vaccinations, the general thought is waiting 1-2 weeks between. We would recommend starting with the RSV and/or pneumococcal vaccines and ending with the COVID-19 and/or influenza vaccines. In general, you could aim for receiving 2 vaccinations in September and 2 vaccinations in October. When it comes to separation of these vaccines, there is not an official recommended amount of time between each vaccine, so you may ultimately separate the vaccinations in a way that is most convenient for you.
These respiratory diseases can be very severe and dangerous, as they can lead to pneumonia, hospitalizations, and even death. The key to staying protected this fall and winter is to get vaccinated against these viruses. You have some options of how to make that happen. At Kohll’s Rx, we offer all of these vaccinations, and we are happy to help protect everyone in our local community. Whether you choose to get your vaccines together or space them out, Kohll’s Rx is here for you!
We also want to mention that there are monoclonal antibodies FDA approved for children to prevent severe disease from an RSV infection, Beyfortus and Syngais. Beyfortus is recommended for all infants who are younger than 8 months old and are born during or entering their first RSV season and may be recommended for children 8-19 months old at high risk for severe RSV entering their second RSV season. This monoclonal antibody can protect infants for 5 months, which is the typical length of RSV season. Beyfortus is not available yet, but it is expected to be out later this fall. Syngais is for children under 24 months old with certain conditions that place them at high risk for RSV disease. This injection is available and is given once a month during RSV season. Additionally, Abryvso, the RSV vaccine made by Pfizer, which is approved for adults 60 years old and older, is also FDA approved for pregnant women between 32 and 36 weeks pregnant. This vaccine is to help prevent severe RSV in infants from birth through 6 months. We cannot administer Abryvso to pregnant individuals at this time because the ACIP has not approved it for pregnant individuals yet, but it is anticipated that the ACIP will be discussed further at the ACIP meeting in October.