Can You Get Shingrix And The COVID Vaccine Together?
In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not you can get Shingrix and the COVID vaccine at the same time.
I got my first shot of Shingrix a few months ago and am due for my second dose. However, I am also eligible for my COVID booster vaccine (Moderna) and I wanted to know if I have to space the two immunizations from each other.
- Both the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and the Immunization Action Coalition state that there is no need to wait any period of time between the shingles vaccine (Shingrix) and COVID vaccines.
- The shingles vaccine (Shingrix) and COVID vaccines can even be given at the same time, but if they are, they should be given in different parts of the body (e.g. one vaccine in each arm).
Hello and thank you for your question!
The answer to this is pretty straightforward as we have direct recommendations from both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Immunization Action Coalition.
The current guidance is, for most individuals, there is no need to wait any period of time between getting the shingles vaccine (Shingrix) and the COVID booster vaccine (or any COVID vaccine for that matter). You can even get them at the same time, although, if you do get them at the same time, they should be given at separate injection sites (i.e. one in each arm).
CDC & ACIP Guidance
The CDC states the following regarding getting the COVID vaccine with other non-COVID vaccines:
COVID-19 vaccines may be administered without regard to timing of other vaccines. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines on the same day. If multiple vaccines are administered at a single visit, administer each injection in a different injection site.
The 'Immunization Action Coalition', an organization that distributes information about vaccines and partners closely with the CDC, states the same recommendation in their 'Ask An Expert' portion of their website:
Q: Can COVID-19 vaccine recipients be given other vaccines at the same visit?
A: Yes. COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines may be administered without regard to timing. Until May 2021, COVID-19 vaccines were recommended to be administered alone, with a minimum interval of 14 days before or after administration of any other vaccines. This was out of an abundance of caution and not due to any known safety concerns or concerns about interference with effectiveness.
Why Was The Recommendation Changed?
As you can see in that last excerpt from the Immunization Action Coalition above, up until May 2021, a waiting period between the COVID vaccine and others (including Shingrix) was recommended. That waiting period was 14 days (again, that recommendation has been changed to no waiting period necessary).
This recommendation was initially in place for a few reasons, namely:
- Separating vaccine administration made it easier to identify which vaccine causes certain side effects.
- There was a lack of data available regarding whether or not the COVID vaccine could interfere with others in regard to effectiveness.
As the COVID vaccines have been available for some time now, we now have more data on the specific side effects they can cause, and, although data is limited, we are relatively certain that they do not lessen the effectiveness of other vaccines (and vice versa).
For example, a study, published in the Lancet, found no safety concerns in individuals receiving both the COVID vaccine and flu vaccine. Additionally, it found that the antibody responses to both vaccines were the same compared to receiving either vaccine alone.
Now, there is currently not much data available regarding Shingrix with the COVID vaccines specifically, but all signs point to them being safe to use together.
Thanks again for reaching out to us!
We are always more than happy to answer any question that comes our way, but it is important to discuss things like vaccinations with your doctor.
Everybody's medical situation is different and there are rare cases in which some vaccines shouldn't be given together.
- Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Approved or Authorized in the United States, CDC
- Ask the Experts COVID-19, Immunization Action Coalition
- Safety and immunogenicity of concomitant administration of COVID-19 vaccines (ChAdOx1 or BNT162b2) with seasonal influenza vaccines in adults in the UK (ComFluCOV): a multicentre, randomised, controlled, phase 4 trial, The Lancet
- Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD
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