Through the subsequent few weeks or months, you may end up dropping by the physician’s workplace or pharmacy to get your annual flu shot together with a dose of COVID vaccine.
Sadly, you will need to get two particular person jabs. Although at the least two drug corporations are engaged on a combo flu/COVID booster, the single-dose shot will not be prepared for this flu season.
However relaxation assured that it is completely protected to get your flu shot and COVID vaccination throughout the identical go to, infectious illness medical doctors say.
Getting a number of vaccinations directly has been normal medical apply for many years now, and these combos have by no means precipitated any hurt, stated Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the Bethesda, Md.-based Nationwide Basis for Infectious Ailments.
“It definitely hasn’t inhibited the armed forces,” stated Schaffner, a professor of infectious illness and preventive medication on the Vanderbilt College College of Drugs in Nashville, Tenn. “Whenever you’re a recruit, you get needled. You get a complete bunch of vaccines concurrently.”
It would not overwhelm your immune system, he stated.
“And the CDC [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] has stated explicitly you will get your first, second or—in the event that they’re beneficial—booster COVID vaccines on the identical time that you simply get your flu shot,” Schaffner added.
Anticipating that annual COVID boosters shall be wanted sooner or later, the pharmaceutical corporations Moderna and Novavax each have introduced that they’re growing a mixture flu/COVID vaccine.
Moderna advised buyers final week that it hopes finally to construct an annual combo vaccine that protects in opposition to a wide range of respiratory viruses, together with influenza, COVID and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
In the meantime, Novavax stated it has initiated early-stage scientific trials to check a mixed flu/COVID vaccine.
Do not go in search of both combo shot this flu season, stated Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Heart for Well being Safety in Baltimore.
“I don’t suppose that that is going to be one thing out there within the quick time period, particularly not for this flu season as flu vaccinations have already turn into out there,” he stated.
“They’re trying to the long run,” Schaffner stated of the drug corporations. “They suppose COVID boosters shall be mandatory, they usually’re even laying their guess this is perhaps a good suggestion on an annual foundation, as a result of that will be the schedule in which you’d must get flu vaccine. They’re serious about that fairly significantly and have invested a bunch of science in it.”
Adalja says the combo COVID/flu shot could possibly be a wise concept, if it seems we do want boosters in opposition to COVID.
“The extra vaccines that may be packed into one shot the higher, because it makes getting vaccinated and staying on schedule handy,” he stated. “Whether or not this can be a vaccine everybody wants relies upon upon the info supporting the necessity for booster COVID vaccinations, which has not been absolutely introduced.”
Plenty of different mixture vaccines are already in the marketplace, just like the tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap) and the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) photographs, Adalja stated.
Whether or not a COVID/flu combo could be protected and efficient will depend upon the immune response that is produced by a single jab, Adalja stated.
He famous that the MMR and varicella (chickenpox) vaccines are separated for the primary dose, after which mixed right into a single MMRV shot for an individual’s second dose.
That is as a result of when the combo MMRV is given as one shot for the primary dose, it produces extra adversarial reactions than breaking it into two separate jabs, Adalja stated.
Both manner, infectious illness medical doctors like Schaffner and Adalja are bracing for a flu season that could possibly be worse than final yr. In line with the CDC, flu circumstances had been at an all-time low in 2020-2021 as pandemic protections reminiscent of masking and social distancing additionally served to maintain influenza at bay.
“Persons are involved as a result of we’re doing precisely the alternative of what we did final yr,” Schaffner stated. “We’re going out as an alternative of staying house. The youngsters are at school slightly than studying nearly. So we anticipate there shall be influenza this yr. We won’t let you know how a lot, however we expect there shall be influenza, so we’ll need to reintroduce everybody to this different respiratory virus which can also be nasty—influenza.”
Schaffner can also be frightened that public well being specialists shall be selling flu photographs “at a time of vaccine fatigue,” throughout which individuals may additionally be touting COVID booster photographs amongst some teams.
However it’s nonetheless anybody’s guess what is going to occur this flu season, Adalja famous.
“It is unclear whether or not influenza shall be a significant component this season as a result of there has not been a lot flu circulating even within the Southern Hemisphere, and there are some residual COVID-19 mitigation measures that individuals are taking,” Adalja stated. “However influenza has a particular standing, and it is rather vital to be ready for regardless of the season might maintain.”
The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention has extra about influenza.
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Is a combo COVID/flu shot on the way in which? (2021, September 15)
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