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[EXPLAINER] Over 60? Get a flu jab first (wait 2-3 weeks) then a Covid-19 jab

22 April 2021 8:58 AM

Dr Angelique Coetzee explains why you should get a flu vaccine before getting one for Covid-19 if you are older than 60.

Reducing the spread of flu and other respiratory diseases this autumn and winter is more important than usual, considering the still looming third wave of Covid19 infections.

Flu vaccination is especially important for those older than 60, who account for most hospitalisations and deaths from flu and Covid-19.

Over 60, and getting vaccinated against Covid-19. © Dmytro/123rf

Click here for all our Covid-19-related articles in one place.


Africa Melane interviewed Dr Angelique Coetzee, Chairperson at the South African Medical Association.

She explains why people older than 60 should get a flu vaccine before getting one for Covid-19.

It’s an excellent idea! [to get a flu jab while waiting to get vaccinated against Covid-19] … Influenza is also a killer, especially for elderly people. I hate saying ‘elderly people’ are people above 60 because I’m older than 60 and I don’t feel elderly!

Dr Angelique Coetzee, Chairperson - South African Medical Association

It’ takes about two to three weeks before the influenza vaccine gives you protection… Get your flu jab before May…

Dr Angelique Coetzee, Chairperson - South African Medical Association

The Covid-19 vaccines take 28 days to give you protection…

Dr Angelique Coetzee, Chairperson - South African Medical Association

Wait for a minimum of 14 days [after getting a flu jab before getting a Covid-19 vaccine]. We don’t expect Phase Two [vaccination of over-60s against Covid-19] to start rolling out before the middle of May – giving you ample time if you go now…

Dr Angelique Coetzee, Chairperson - South African Medical Association

Last year we ran out of flu vaccines… Therefore, go now! We’re already seeing some flu coming in… It’s the right thing to do… I’ve taken the flu vaccine already…

Dr Angelique Coetzee, Chairperson - South African Medical Association

Listen to the interview in the audio below.




22 April 2021 8:58 AM

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