New research suggests that it is safe for people to receive a single dose of the COVID and flu vaccine at the same time, and neither co-administration results in any negative effects on the immune response.
The scientists behind the Combining Influenza and COVID-19 Vaccination (ComFluCoV) study said their findings support government plans to roll out COVID booster jabs along with flu shots, where it is considered practical.
A trial led by a team at the University of Bristol showed that the reported side effects of co-administration were mainly mild to moderate, concluding that “concomitant vaccination does not pose any safety concerns and immunity to both vaccines retains the response”.
Dr Rajeka Lazarus, consultant in infectious diseases and microbiology and principal investigator of the Comflukov study, said the research showed “it is possible to protect people from both COVID-19 and the flu at the same appointment”.
She continued: “This is a really positive step that could mean fewer appointments for people who need both vaccines, lessening the burden on people who have underlying health conditions and more commonly influenza. Vaccines are offered.
The results of the study, which have yet to be reviewed, have already been shared with the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization and the UK’s drug regulator.
They were used to help shape preparations for autumn and winter planning. Under this, over 50 million COVID booster jabs are to be offered, while some 30 million flu shots will also be rolled out.
As part of the ComFluCov trial, two COVID and three flu vaccines were tested – six combinations in total.
Study participants were over the age of 18 and had already received a single dose of the Pfizer/BioEntech or Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, and were looking forward to their second dose.
A total of 679 volunteers took part in the study at 12 NHS sites in England and Wales.
One group received a second dose of the COVID vaccine and flu vaccine on their first study visit, then a placebo on their second visit.
A second group received a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and a placebo on their first visit, and then the flu vaccine on their second visit.
Participants also attended a third study visit to discuss any side effects and to give a blood sample.
The most common side effects were pain and fatigue around the injection site.
The researchers found that some combinations showed an increase in the number of people who reported at least one side effect when the COVID-19 and flu vaccines were given together, but the reactions were mostly mild or moderate.
According to the study, the immune response to both the flu and the COVID-19 vaccine was preserved when given together, and 97 percent of participants said they would be willing to have the two vaccines at the same appointment in the future.
Professor Andrew Ustianovsky, clinical head of the COVID-19 vaccination program at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), said: “This research has provided important and reassuring results that make vaccination more effective for both patients and the NHS. can be efficient.”
The study was led by researchers from the University of Bristol’s Bristol Trials Center and University Hospital Bristol and the Weston NHS Foundation Trust, and supported by the Clinical Research Network West of England.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /