Yes. If the flu and COVID vaccines are available, then yes you can get them both. But don't wait to get the flu shot. If your child is eligible, they may also receive a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) shot if it is available.
Fall and winter are the seasons for flu and other respiratory viruses. The good news is that we will have immunizations for the viruses that cause the most hospitalizations and deaths, especially in babies and young children.
Do all kids need all three shots?
Your pediatrician can tell you if and how many doses of each immunization your baby or child should receive. Here is what the American Academy of Pediatrics advises:
The 2023-2024 updated
COVID vaccine and
flu vaccine are recommended for children ages 6 months and older. Most children will only need one dose of flu vaccine if they have had a flu shot before. The updated COVID vaccine is a better match for circulating virus strains this fall and winter.
RSV season, there are two new tools to protect babies from severe illness. You can choose
RSV immunization at 32 through 36 weeks pregnancy if your baby will be born during RSV season. Or your baby can receive an RSV immunization called nirsevimab after they are born.
One dose of
nirsevimab is recommended for all babies born during or right before the RSV season who are under 8 months of age. One dose of nirsevimab is recommended for some children age 8 to 19 months who are entering their second RSV season and are at higher risk of serious illness.
Most infants will likely only need protection from either the maternal RSV vaccine or nirsevimab, but not both.
Can babies & kids get very sick from these infections?
Yes. And we know that the highest hospital rates from COVID, flu and RSV are among the youngest children. Babies have the most risk of severe illness because:
Their immune system is still developing.
Their lungs and airways are smaller, so the viruses that affect the airways are more of a threat.
During the pandemic when many people stayed home, common viruses like
RSV and the
flu did not spread as easily. It is easy for respiratory viruses to spread when people gather indoors and in large groups. We know that children can
spread these germs and others—and catch them from other children and adults.
Immunizations give your child the ability to keep these diseases from causing severe illness and hospitalization.
Other diseases that used to be gone thanks to routine immunizations are coming back in the U.S. Because of the pandemic, children around the world fell behind on check-ups that they need to stay healthy. About
67 million children missed some or all of their recommended immunizations. Vaccination rates around the world fell to the lowest level in 30 years.
Falling behind on vaccines can put your child at risk if they are exposed to other people who are infected or to germs on
surfaces where they play. Outbreaks of diseases like polio and measles occur when travelers abroad bring the diseases into the U.S., where they spread easily in communities with pockets of unvaccinated people. So, it is important to keep your children
up to date on all of their recommended immunizations.
To keep young children and others at high risk of serious illness protected requires careful steps by all of us. If we all work together to control the spread of the virus, we can keep kids healthy so they can thrive.