A study based on a large national sample suggests that receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine at the same time is associated with reductions in COVID infections, similar to a COVID-only vaccination strategy. A team based at the University of North Florida reported their findings in the Dec 23 issue of Vaccine.
The authors said earlier evidence suggests that it is safe to receive both vaccines at the same time, though levels of adverse reactions such as fatigue, myalgia, and headaches may be higher. However, they noted that benefits of dual vaccination were less clear and that population-based evidence would be helpful for better communicating about the potential benefits of dual vaccination.
For their study, they used 2021 National Health Interview Survey data, which asked participants ages 18 and older about positive COVID-19 diagnoses, along with their vaccination history, between April and December.
Of 21,387 adults, 22% didn't receive either vaccine, 6% got only the flu vaccine, 21.9% received only the COVID vaccine, and 42.5% had both. Those who received both vaccines or only the COVID vaccine were significantly less likely than unvaccinated people to report COVID infection.
The team didn't find any difference in COVID severity between those who received dual or COVID-only vaccination.
"Dual and COVID-19-only vaccinations seem to have comparable associations with COVID-19 infection," they wrote. "Given potential winter surge, dual vaccination may be an effective strategy to reduce the contagious respiratory disease burden."