Throughout 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 should get two particular person jabs. Although not less than two drug companies are working 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 similar go to, infectious illness medical doctors say.
Getting a number of vaccinations without delay has been commonplace 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 actually hasn’t inhibited the armed forces,” stated Schaffner, a professor of infectious illness and preventive drugs at the Vanderbilt College Faculty of Medication in Nashville, Tenn. “If you’re a recruit, you get needled. You get a complete bunch of vaccines concurrently.”
It does 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 advisable—booster COVID vaccines at the similar time that you simply get your flu shot,” Schaffner added.
Anticipating that annual COVID boosters shall be wanted in the future, the pharmaceutical firms Moderna and Novavax each have introduced that they’re creating a mixture flu/COVID vaccine.
Moderna informed buyers final week that it hopes ultimately to construct an annual combo vaccine that protects in opposition to a number 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 Middle for Well being Safety in Baltimore.
“I don’t suppose that that is going to be one thing out there in the brief time period, particularly not for this flu season as flu vaccinations have already turn out to be out there,” he stated.
“They’re trying to the future,” Schaffner stated of the drug firms. “They suppose COVID boosters shall be crucial, and so they’re even laying their wager this is perhaps a good thought on an annual foundation, as a result of that might be the schedule in which you’d have to get flu vaccine. They’re enthusiastic about that fairly severely and have invested a bunch of science in it.”
Adalja says the combo COVID/flu shot might be a sensible thought, 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 that is a vaccine everybody wants relies upon upon the knowledge supporting the want for booster COVID vaccinations, which has not been absolutely introduced.”
Numerous different mixture vaccines are already on the market, like the tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap) and the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) pictures, Adalja stated.
Whether or not a COVID/flu combo could be protected and efficient will rely on 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 first dose, after which mixed into a single MMRV shot for a individual’s second dose.
That is as a result of when the combo MMRV is given as one shot for the first dose, it produces extra adversarial reactions than breaking it into two separate jabs, Adalja stated.
Both approach, infectious illness medical doctors like Schaffner and Adalja are bracing for a flu season that might be worse than final yr. In response to the CDC, flu circumstances have been at an all-time low in 2020-2021 as pandemic protections equivalent to masking and social distancing additionally served to maintain influenza at bay.
“Persons are involved as a result of we’re doing precisely the reverse of what we did final yr,” Schaffner stated. “We’re going out as an alternative of staying dwelling. The youngsters are at school slightly than studying just about. So we anticipate there shall be influenza this yr. We won’t inform you how a lot, however we expect there shall be influenza, so we will should reintroduce everybody to this different respiratory virus which can be nasty—influenza.”
Schaffner can be nervous that public well being specialists shall be selling flu pictures “at a time of vaccine fatigue,” throughout which individuals may additionally be touting COVID booster pictures amongst some teams.
Nevertheless 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 main issue this season as a result of there has not been a lot flu circulating even in 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 extremely necessary to be ready for no matter 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 approach? (2021, September 15)
retrieved 15 September 2021
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