Wednesday, October 27, 2021

TWICE AS BEAUTIFUL Is it safe to get the flu vaccination and Covid vaccination at the same time?

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ROLLOUTS of the flu vaccine and Covid booster are in full swing.

Most people get their jabs either close together or at the same time.

This is because health leaders fear there will be a wave of flu cases bigger than the country has been in for a while.

In addition, Covid is still with us in high numbers and the combination of the two viruses could cause problems for the NHS.

But with two different vaccines it is understandable that the British fear getting them at the same time could be unsafe.

However, there has been a lot of research and thought about offering them together.

The short answer is yes.

Studies have shown that it makes no difference whether you have them at the same time or close together.

A study led by the University of Bristol found that side effects reported when tested with three flu vaccines and either Pfizer or AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine were usually mild to moderate.

“This is a really positive move that could mean fewer appointments for those who need both vaccines,” said chief investigator Rajeka Lazarus.

The Joint Vaccination and Immunization Committee said that both Covid and flu vaccines “are generally well tolerated without diminishing the vaccine-induced immune responses to any of the vaccines”.

A statement to the government said: “It is not the intention of JCVI that the 2021 COVID-19 booster program should disrupt or delay the introduction of the annual flu vaccination program.

“Both programs are important for individual and public health, especially in the winter of 2021-2022.

“Where it makes operational sense, COVID-19 and influenza vaccines can be administered at the same time.”

To get the third dose of the life-saving vaccine, people in the UK will have to wait to be told they can enroll.

Currently, refresher courses are only offered to those aged 50 and over with an underlying medical condition, health and social workers.

And only a subset of these groups are eligible for a booster, as a large chunk won’t go more than six months after the second jab – which is crucial for booster requirements.

So even if you are one of those groups that can be offered a booster, you will have to wait for you to be called.

Flu vaccinations began in September for children ages two and three, all elementary school children, people 50 and older, pregnant women, unpaid caregivers, and frontline medical and adult social care workers.

The NHS is offering a free flu shot to those most at risk of getting the virus.

But it’s also a good idea to book yourself for one, even if you don’t fall into the vulnerable categories.

At Boots it costs £ 15 which if you can afford it might be a small price to pay for getting really sick and missing work days.

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