Instances of influenza (the flu) and COVID are set to rise over winter, with many Australians seeking to shield themselves from each of those respiratory viruses.

For many adults, if it has been six months because you had COVID or your final vaccination, you are possible eligible to guide in your subsequent dose.

In the meantime, the flu vaccine is really useful for everybody over the age of six months.

However are you able to get each without delay? Sure, you may get your flu vaccine and COVID booster safely on the similar time, saving you a visit to the GP, nurse or pharmacy.

Why has the recommendation modified?

When COVID vaccines have been first rolled out, a spot was really useful between COVID and flu vaccines. It is because we did not have ample knowledge of the person and long-term results of the brand new COVID vaccines.

After analyzing the newest out there proof on security and efficacy, the World Well being Group up to date its interim tips. It suggests getting an influenza vaccine and any dose of any authorised COVID vaccine on the similar time is a sensible possibility.

Nonetheless, till extra knowledge turns into out there, the WHO advises utilizing totally different arms for vaccination. That is to stop the elements of the vaccines mixing and to restrict the preliminary immune response to a distinct group of lymph nodes.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation up to date its vaccination tips in March 2022, advising that influenza and COVID vaccines may be administered on the identical day.

What occurs if you get two pictures without delay?

Getting a number of vaccinations without delay is not new. Childhood vaccinations are routinely and safely administered on the similar time.

For COVID and flu vaccines, randomized managed trials present no vital distinction within the immune responses of the individuals who had each vaccines without delay in comparison with those that had them on totally different days.

Members who had each vaccines without delay reported the identical kinds of unwanted effects from the physique’s inflammatory response to vaccination (injection-site ache, redness, swelling on the injection web site) in addition to common signs related to each COVID and flu vaccines, resembling fever, muscle ache and a headache.

These minor side-effects have been of comparable depth and period to those that had both vaccine administered alone.

Getting each COVID and flu vaccines can also be cheaper, the uptake is larger when individuals do not must make a number of journeys, and it saves well being practitioners’ time.

What in regards to the viruses? Are you able to get COVID and the flu on the similar time?

Though simultaneous infections with two totally different viruses are widespread, SARS-CoV-2 has been infecting people for a comparatively quick time. We subsequently have restricted knowledge on how influenza strains and SARS-CoV-2 work together with the host on the similar time, and if there may be any interplay between the viruses.

Nonetheless, one giant research in England reported that individuals constructive for influenza had decrease odds of additionally testing constructive for SARS-CoV-2. This was attributed to potential cross-reactive immunity between viruses.

It did, nevertheless, discover individuals contaminated with each viruses on the similar time had worse outcomes and have been twice as more likely to die as those that have been solely contaminated with SARS-CoV-2.

Some experimental proof urged prior an infection with kind A influenza virus promotes SARS-CoV-2 entry and infectiousness. This may very well be on account of a novel function of the influenza A virus which permits COVID to take maintain extra simply.

The place can I get vaccinated and the way a lot will it value?

Influenza and COVID vaccines can be found at GP clinics and pharmacies.

Australians aged 5 years and over are eligible for a free COVID vaccination. The flu vaccine is free for individuals at larger threat of issues, together with:

  • pregnant girls
  • individuals six months and older with chosen continual circumstances
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals.

For the remainder of the inhabitants, the flu vaccine prices round A$20-30. Some practitioners additionally cost a session charge.

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I want a flu shot and a COVID booster. Can I get them on the similar time? (2023, June 2)
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