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Gathering for Thanksgiving? Now is best time to get COVID, flu shots

The latest COVID-19 vaccine became available in late September, but only a small percentage of people have received the shot.
Gathering for Thanksgiving? Now is best time to get COVID, flu shots
Posted at 12:25 PM, Nov 14, 2023

You still have time to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 and the flu ahead of Thanksgiving. 

Many Cohen, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says people should get vaccinated now. 

“Right now is the best time for folks to protect themselves so they can build up those antibodies ahead of the holiday," Cohen told

A recent study found that there may be a slight risk of strokes in adults 85 and older if they receive the COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time. Cohen addressed those concerns, saying people can speak to their medical provider ahead of getting any vaccine to determine their individual risk. However, she noted that getting both vaccines at the same time is generally safe and effective. 

SEE MORE: Getting COVID, flu shots together may increase stroke risk in seniors

“[It’s] really more a matter of convenience,” she told “If it’s hard to get to your doctor or to the pharmacy to get your vaccines, you may want to get it done in one appointment.”

The latest COVID-19 vaccine, which protects against new strains of the virus, became available in late September. However, only 17% of Americans have received the shot, according to the CDC

More people appear to be getting the flu vaccine than the COVID-19 vaccine this year. Flu vaccine coverage is hovering around 25% for the season, the CDC reports

This is also the first year some people can get vaccinated to protect against respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV. Vaccines have been approved for infants and for people 60 and older, which are populations most at risk of severe outcomes with RSV. 

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