How the Flu Shot is Different This Year, Parenting in the Age of Fear, and Fauci’s Halloween

This year is different with both the flu shot and COVID booster. Experts weigh in on whether you should get both.

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Should my family get the flu shot and the COVID booster?

As we head into the flu season, the CDC has said that this year will be different than in past years. All of the flu vaccines are designed to protect against four different strains of the flu virus, with Flucelvax Quadrivalent approved for children over the age of 2.

The question we’ve heard most from members this week is whether it’s okay to get the flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. Today, I got my Pfizer booster and flu vaccine, and overall, I’m feeling great aside from a slightly sore arm—I opted to do both in my right arm.

Can you have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time? Yes, it is possible to have flu and other respiratory illnesses like COVID-19 at the same time but health experts are still studying how common this is. Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, making it hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Diagnostic testing can help determine if you are sick with flu or COVID-19. Flu vaccines are not designed to protect you from COVID-19 and a COVID-19 vaccine is not designed to protect you against the flu.

If COVID-19 is spreading in my community, should I still go out to get a flu vaccine? Yes. Getting a flu vaccine is an essential part of protecting your health, your family’s health, and the health of those in your community every year. Take recommended precautions to protect yourself from COVID-19 while getting your flu vaccine such as wearing a mask, physical distancing, and getting a COVID-19 vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year.

Can I Get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine during the same visit? Yes, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time. Even though both vaccines can be given at the same visit, people should follow the recommended schedule for either vaccine: If you haven’t gotten your currently recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccine, get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can, and ideally get a flu vaccine by the end of October.
Karsen and I went deeper on this topic in this week’s Quick Tip episode:

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Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear

One morning, Kim Brooks made a split-second decision to leave her four-year-old son in the car while she ran into a store. What happened would consume the next several years of her life and spur her to investigate the broader role America’s culture of fear plays in parenthood.

In Small Animals, Brooks asks, Of all the emotions inherent in parenting, is there any more universal or profound than fear? Why have our notions of what it means to be a good parent changed so radically? In what ways do these changes impact the lives of parents, children, and the structure of society at large? And what, in the end, does the rise of fearful parenting tell us about ourselves?

Our 10-minute book summary is now available:

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Links we like

The parenting content we’d share if we were in your group text.

Breath: Four ways to help your anxious child. Label what’s happening, resolve your own anxiety, teach children mindfulness techniques, and create a schedule with photos

Dry: One parent writes about how quitting alcohol makes her a better parent.

Treat: Despite wide vaccines, not all Halloween gatherings are safe, but Dr. Fauci says outdoor trick-or-treating is perfectly safe.

Raise: With child care workers already hard to find, vaccine mandates could make it even harder. Increased pay is likely to help the problem.

iPhone: A new study finds most parents think children should get their first phone at age 11, but should not access the internet until age 13.

DMs: Snapchat wants to make it easier for parents to know how to keep their kids safe in the social media app.

Let’s keep the conversation going. Follow us on YouTube or Instagram for weekly parenting tips. If you have a topic you’d like to see covered in a future newsletter, just reply to this email or write to me at

See you next week,

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