Is a Combo COVID/Flu Shot on the Way?

James J. Latham

By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 15, 2021 (HealthDay Information)

All through the up coming couple months or months, you might find you dropping by the doctor’s office or pharmacy to get your yearly flu shot alongside with a dose of COVID vaccine.

Sad to say, you are going to have to get two person jabs. However at minimum two drug companies are working on a combo flu/COVID booster, the single-dose shot will not be prepared for this flu season.

But relaxation certain that it is really beautifully risk-free to get your flu shot and COVID vaccination throughout the similar check out, infectious illness medical practitioners say.

Obtaining numerous vaccinations at after has been normal medical apply for many years now, and these combos have never ever prompted any hurt, said Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the Bethesda, Md.-primarily based National Foundation for Infectious Conditions.

“It surely hasn’t inhibited the armed forces,” said Schaffner, a professor of infectious illness and preventive medicine at the Vanderbilt College Faculty of Medication in Nashville, Tenn. “When you happen to be a recruit, you get needled. You get a complete bunch of vaccines simultaneously.”

It does not overwhelm your immune process, he said.

“And the CDC [U.S. Facilities for Condition Handle and Avoidance] has said explicitly you can get your very first, next or — if they are proposed — booster COVID vaccines at the similar time that you get your flu shot,” Schaffner added.

Anticipating that yearly COVID boosters will be desired in the foreseeable future, the pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Novavax equally have declared that they are developing a mix flu/COVID vaccine.

Moderna told investors last week it hopes eventually to create an yearly combo vaccine that guards towards a variety of respiratory viruses, which includes influenza, COVID and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Meanwhile, Novavax said it has initiated early-stage medical trials to exam a put together flu/COVID vaccine.

Don’t go hunting for possibly combo shot this flu season, said Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Heart for Overall health Stability in Baltimore.

“I do not assume that this is heading to be some thing accessible in the limited term, particularly not for this flu season as flu vaccinations have currently grow to be accessible,” he said.

Schaffner agreed.

“They’re hunting to the foreseeable future,” Schaffner said of the drug companies. “They assume COVID boosters will be necessary, and they are even laying their bet this might be a great strategy on an yearly basis, for the reason that that would be the timetable in which you would will need to get flu vaccine. They’re pondering about that quite very seriously and have invested a bunch of science in it.”

Adalja claims the combo COVID/flu shot could be a sensible strategy, if it turns out we do will need boosters towards COVID.

“The extra vaccines that can be packed into a person shot the superior, as it makes acquiring vaccinated and keeping on timetable easy,” he said. “Irrespective of whether this is a vaccine every person requires is dependent on the knowledge supporting the will need for booster COVID vaccinations, which has not been entirely introduced.”

Plenty of other mix vaccines are currently on the current market, like the tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap) and the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) pictures, Adalja said.

Irrespective of whether a COVID/flu combo would be risk-free and successful will rely on the immune reaction which is made by a single jab, Adalja said.

He mentioned that the MMR and varicella (chickenpox) vaccines are divided for the very first dose, and then put together into a single MMRV shot for a person’s next dose.




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That’s for the reason that when the combo MMRV is provided as a person shot for the very first dose, it makes extra adverse reactions than breaking it into two separate jabs, Adalja said.

Either way, infectious illness medical practitioners like Schaffner and Adalja are bracing for a flu season that could be worse than last yr. According to the CDC, flu circumstances ended up at an all-time minimal in 2020-2021 as pandemic protections such as masking and social distancing also served to hold influenza at bay.

“Persons are worried for the reason that we are executing precisely the reverse of what we did last yr,” Schaffner said. “We’re heading out in its place of keeping house. The children are in school rather than learning almost. So we anticipate there will be influenza this yr. We can’t notify you how much, but we assume there will be influenza, so we are heading to have to reintroduce every person to this other respiratory virus which is also awful — influenza.”

Schaffner is also fearful that community well being specialists will be endorsing flu pictures “at a time of vaccine exhaustion,” throughout which men and women might also be touting COVID booster pictures among some teams.

But it is really still anyone’s guess what will take place this flu season, Adalja mentioned.

“It really is unclear regardless of whether influenza will be a main issue this season for the reason that there has not been much flu circulating even in the Southern Hemisphere, and there are some residual COVID-19 mitigation steps that men and women are getting,” Adalja said. “But influenza has a distinctive standing, and it is incredibly critical to be well prepared for whatsoever the season might keep.”

Extra information and facts

The U.S. Facilities for Condition Handle and Avoidance has extra about influenza.

Resources: William Schaffner, MD, professor, infectious illness and preventive medicine, Vanderbilt College Faculty of Medication, Nashville, and medical director, National Foundation for Infectious Conditions, Bethesda, Md. Amesh Adalja, MD, senior scholar, Johns Hopkins Heart for Overall health Stability, Baltimore


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