MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s that time of year to consider getting your flu vaccination, and experts suggest you do so as soon as possible.

While in the Mid-South some flu cases show up in November, the numbers don’t usually peak until February and March.

“It is fine to get the flu vaccine and the COVID booster, if you need one, on the same day now,” said Dr. Steve Threlkeld, infectious disease specialist for Baptist Memorial Healthcare.

Threlkeld says when the COVID-19 vaccine first came out the CDC recommended a two week separation from other vaccines. 

“Simply because we wanted to make sure what side affects were from which vaccines,” Threlkeld said. “So we wanted to know and get good data on how people were tolerating that vaccine in larger and larger and larger numbers, so that’s why they made that recommendation.”

He says it’s common for people to get both shots at the same time and experience possibly a sore arm and low grade fever, particularly with the COVID-19 vaccine.

“But those things have proven to be mild, short lived, and at this point there’s no confusion that each of them can do that. So it should be perfectly fine to take both of those,” Threlkeld said.

On the subject of the flu, Threlkeld says it’s hard to predict what will happen this season because there was so little flu last year, but he stresses it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“We may see some surprises, and we certainly have concerns the flu could be more severe this year after having taken sort of ‘year off’, if you will, last year,” Threlkeld said. “So, I got my shot a little earlier this year than usual.”

Threlkeld emphasis vaccine supplies are good and healthcare professionals are encouraged there are better times on the horizon.

“There’s nothing on our immediate doorstep that should replace delta and start another surge that we know of yet,” Threlkeld said. “So, most of us in infectious disease are fairly optimistic that we’re going to have a period here where things will be safer and safer.”

A spokesperson with the Shelby County Health Department says supplies of flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines are both plentiful in Shelby County at clinics and pharmacies, with no shortages expected.