Getting flu, COVID-19 vaccine together safe, early research shows

Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and a flu shot in the same visit is safe and doesn't lower the effectiveness of either shot, preliminary data from a U.K. clinical trial published Sept. 30 suggests. 

The Combining Influenza and COVID-19 Vaccination study involved 679 adults in England and Wales who had all received their first dose of either Pfizer or AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine. Half of the participants received one of three types of flu shots alongside their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and the other half got a placebo alongside their second COVID-19 shot. The shots were administered in opposite arms. 

Side effects were mostly mild or moderate when both vaccines were administered together, researchers said. Pain around the injection site and fatigue were the most common side effects. 

Researchers also took blood samples several weeks after participants' final visit to measure coronavirus antibody levels. No combination of flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine would lower the effectiveness of either shot, the preliminary study concluded. 

“Early results from the study have shown that it is safe to give both the COVID-19 and influenza vaccine together," said Dr. Rajeka Lazarus, chief scientist on the trial and an infectious diseases and microbiology consultant at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust in England. "This means fewer appointments needed which will hopefully make it easier for people to get both vaccines.”


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