Vaccine

Updated November 2021

Millions of Americans have received COVID-19 vaccines.

But routine immunizations for other diseases have dropped across the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes the Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) and the HPV vaccine, among others.

Previously, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a minimum 2-week gap between getting the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines.

To help get routine vaccines back on track, the CDC says people can get other vaccines no matter when they get the COVID-19 vaccine. You can get another vaccine on the same day as your COVID-19 vaccine.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized COVID-19 vaccines for Americans ages 5 and older. The vaccines are safe and effective. The vaccines are still safe and effective if you get another vaccine within 2 weeks, the CDC says.

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Routine Vaccines and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The CDC says it is important for children and adults to continue with routine vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But routine vaccinations have dropped significantly from pre-pandemic levels.

According to a February 2021 CDC report, there was a sharp decrease in several routine vaccines for older adults during the pandemic. Affected vaccines include the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23), adult Tdap (Td/Tdap), and shingles (RZV) vaccines. At the height of the pandemic, vaccine rates were down by as much as 89% among older adults.

Routine vaccinations in children also were down during the pandemic. According to a May 2021 CDC presentation, vaccines for children were down by 11.7 million doses during the pandemic compared to 2019. The largest decreases in vaccines given to adolescents, according to data, were:

  • Tdap vaccine: Down 18.9%
  • HPV vaccine: Down 19.3%
  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine: Down 15.1%

The CDC has a recommended vaccine schedule for children ages 18 and younger.

Routine Vaccines and the COVID-19 Vaccine

The FDA issued emergency use authorization for 3 COVID-19 vaccines.

  • The vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech is authorized for Americans aged 5-15. The vaccine is fully approved for Americans 16 and older.
  • Vaccines developed by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (J&J) are authorized for Americans ages 18 and older.
  • The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require 2 doses, delivered weeks apart. The J&J vaccine requires a single dose.

When the FDA first authorized these vaccines, it recommended a minimum 14-day gap between getting the COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccine.

In May 2021, the CDC updated its guidelines for getting other vaccines with the COVID-19 vaccine. According to new guidelines, you can schedule another vaccine within two weeks of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. You can even get another vaccine on the same day as your COVID-19 vaccination.

According to the CDC, the new guidelines may help to increase routine vaccinations in the U.S.

The American Academy of Pediatrics supports giving other childhood and adolescent vaccinations to children at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine. Children ages 5 and older can get the COVID-19 vaccine and other recommended vaccines on the same day.

Is It Safe to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine at the Same Time as Another Vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in preventing COVID-19. They are especially effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

The CDC initially recommended a gap of at least 14 days between getting the COVID-19 vaccine and another vaccine. At the time, there was no data about COVID-19 vaccines being administered at the same time as other vaccines.

But based on the history of other vaccines, the CDC determined there is no evidence that getting another vaccine affects the safety or effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccine should be safe and effective even if you do get another vaccine within 2 weeks, or even on the same day.

If you are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and would like to schedule an appointment with UPMC, visit Vaccine.UPMC.com.

Contact your doctor if you or a loved one needs to schedule another vaccine. Vaccination is a key method in preventing disease in our communities.

Sources

American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics Calls for Children and Teens Age 12 and Up to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine. Link

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States. Link

Kai Hong, PhD, Fangjun Zhou, PhD, Yuping Tsai, PhD, et al, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Decline in Receipt of Vaccines by Medicare Beneficiaries During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, 2020. Link

Kate Woodworth, MD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Clinical Considerations for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19Vaccination in Adolescents. Link

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