ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KTVI) – If you’re going to get the COVID-19 vaccine, make sure you’re not getting another vaccine too close together.

A health official said there are too many unknowns about the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine being administered right before or after another vaccine, such as the flu or shingles shot.

“The current CDC recommendation is 14 days to wait between receiving different vaccines. This is not a hard stop, though. It’s simply a recommendation,” said Heather Wright, an infection preventionist at SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital in St. Charles, Missouri.

Wright said separating vaccines by 14 days can help determine which vaccine may have caused a side effect if one happens.

“It’s not necessarily removing the effectiveness of each vaccine, but it’s simply a guide so that we know that those patients’ immune system is not being overstimulated,” Wright said.

If a COVID-19 vaccine is inadvertently given within 14 days of another vaccine, you do not need to restart the COVID vaccine series. You should still complete the series on schedule. Health officials believe the benefits outweigh the risks.

“I feel like we are very fortunate to have had a system to be able to develop a vaccine in the time frame that we did and one that is showing that it is effective at this point, so I think we are starting to see some resolution to what our communities have faced over this past year,” Wright said.