SAN ANTONIO - – As extensive research surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines continues, guidelines continue to change.
The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention originally stated that people should not get the COVID-19 shots within 14 days of other vaccines, but that has now changed. There are no longer any time limitations.
It’s an update UT Health San Antonio infectious disease expert Dr. Ruth Berggren isn’t sure everyone saw, including some healthcare professionals and vaccinators.
Berggren said it’s crucial to get the word out to eliminate any more vaccine barriers.
“You don’t have to turn somebody away because they had, say, a shingles vaccine 10 days earlier,” Berggren said.
Berggren pointed to the CDC’s website, which now has a section called Coadministration with Other Vaccines saying, “COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines may now be administered without regard to timing. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines on the same day, as well as coadministration within 14 days.”
The website said substantial data collected shows the side effects are generally similar when vaccines are administered either simultaneously or alone.
“It was looked at and commented on specifically because a lot of children got behind on their childhood vaccinations during the COVID shutdown, and there’s an awareness that parents are trying to not only get a COVID vaccine for their young ones, but trying to get their kids caught up on vaccinations they may have missed,” Berggren said.
Now, parents with children 12 and older who are now able to get the Pfizer COVID vaccine don’t have to worry about scheduling multiple appointments.
“It’s so hard sometimes for working parents to get their kids to a doctor, get them to a vaccination site, that it’s probably better in the long run for everybody, and for the health of kids, to get their vaccines done and not worry about the time interval,” Berggren said.
The CDC said if multiple vaccines are given at a single visit, each shot should be administered at different injection sites, at least an inch away from each other. The agency suggests administering the COVID-19 vaccines and vaccines that may be more likely to cause a local reaction (e.g., tetanus-toxoid-containing and adjuvanted vaccines) in different limbs, if possible.
Berggren said anyone worried about side effects from vaccines should first talk to their doctor or their child’s doctor.