A new British study has determined it is safe to administer flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time.
Researchers administered either a flu shot or a COVID-19 vaccine to adults at one of 12 sites across Britain. Three weeks later, those who received a flu shot then received a COVID-19 vaccine shot and vice versa – though some received a placebo shot.
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The study, which followed 340 participants in randomized trials, found “no safety concerns” from administering both shots and that both vaccines maintained the appropriate immune response, according to a preprint of the study in medical journal The Lancet.
“Most reactions were mild or moderate,” the study noted. “Rates of local and unsolicited systemic reactions were similar between randomized groups.” The study reported only one “adverse” event that resulted in hospitalization but highlighted that “immune responses were not adversely affected.”
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Researchers from The University of Bristol, University of Oxford and University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust conducted the full trial over six weeks. All subjects were given the age-appropriate shot for each vaccine.
Dr. Rajeka Lazarus, lead scientist and a consultant in infectious diseases and microbiology at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, noted the results required peer review, but she stressed that it is “a really positive step.”
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The study indicates that hospitals can reduce the number of appointments for patients as they look to administer booster shots and flu shots ahead of the winter season, which last year presented a significant rise in COVID-19 infections as people remained indoors during the colder weather.
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Around 97% of the subjects said they would willingly receive two vaccines at the same appointment after the study, The Guardian reported.