A UK clinical study found no evidence of danger from receiving a flu shot and a second dose of Covid-19 vaccine at the same time. The results are welcome news for tense healthcare workers as the flu season hits. The study supports the advice of the US health authorities.
In the study, doctors recruited 679 people across the UK between April and June. All volunteers had received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by then, either from AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech, the two vaccines approved there for the first time.
When the volunteers returned for the second dose of their Covid-19 vaccine, the researchers gave one half a flu shot and the other half a placebo at the same time.
The researchers then monitored the volunteers for side effects such as pain and fever.
“There are no safety concerns in this study,” the authors wrote in their preliminary report, which was posted online on Thursday but has not yet been published in a scientific journal.
In addition to examining the safety of the vaccines, the researchers also drew blood to measure antibodies to the coronavirus. Some combinations of different brands of vaccine resulted in slightly lower antibody levels and in other cases slightly higher antibody levels. However, the researchers did not suspect that a combination of the flu and Covid vaccine would be less effective than either administered individually.
The researchers didn’t speculate about what immune responses people will experience if they get a flu shot at the same time as a third Covid-19 shot, which many people may be doing now that the Biden government has approved boosters for large segments of patients. Americans take a risk.