New study raises questions about combining vaccines
Amid talk of a coronavirus comeback, a new US study suggests it's better to use COVID and flu vaccines together. A study of Massachusetts health care workers found higher levels of antibodies in the group who received both shots at the same time.
A new study shows that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and a flu shot together are better than getting them separately, writes The Guardian.
The study, presented at the annual vaccine summit in Boston, involved two groups of Massachusetts health care workers.
The first group of 12 people received the bivalent vaccine against COVIDand the seasonal flu shot at the same time. The second group of 30 healthcare workers received a booster vaccine against COVID and flu shot on different days within one month.
The scientists then measured the antibody levels in both groups. The study concluded that the group that received the shots together had higher levels of immunoglobulin G1, or IgG1 – antibodies that resist COVID-19 and this strain of influenza.
Amesh Adalja, a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, notes in a commentary to The Guardian that this was an interesting find.
“This may be due to increased stimulation of the immune system by the simultaneous administration of both vaccines,” Adalja says. – The main thing – to see if this has any meaningful clinical benefit – do higher antibody levels lead to greater protection against infection or disease?”
The study has not yet been peer-reviewed, but the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommend “get the flu vaccine and COVID-19 in one visit”.
The CDC, as The Guardian writes, does not give reasons for combining both drugs, but assures that it is safe.
The CDC cites one of its own studies on side effects that occur after taking both vaccines at the same time. According to the CDC's findings, although there are more side effects associated with receiving the vaccine from COVID-19 and flu shots, side effects are not as severe as just getting the COVID-19.
According to The Guardian, the CDC says: “In people who received both a flu vaccine and a monovalent flu vaccine COVID-19, the likelihood of reactions including fatigue, headache and muscle pain, was slightly higher than in people who received only monovalent vaccine against COVID-19, but these reactions were mostly mild and resolved quickly.
Amesh Adalja emphasizes that there is also some evidence indicating a possible small increase in the risk of strokes and mini-stroke in older people who receive high doses of these vaccines, but said he does not believe there is a very significant increase in risk.
Ultimately, whether for simplicity or health benefits, using vaccines against COVID< /span> and influenza appear to produce positive results, continues The Guardian.
Adalja emphasizes: “Taking both vaccines at the same time is something that has always been more convenient for patients, but now can also have an additional immunological benefit and should generally be recommended for those who are eligible to receive both vaccines.