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In 2020/21 Covid place immense pressure on our NHS staff and wider society. Last year, due to the pandemic control measures, such as mask use, social distancing, increase in hand hygiene etc., there was a lower level of influenza circulating amongst our staff and the public. As a result, we expect that people will have a lower level of immunity against influenza and we concerned that we will have an increase in over 50% of flu cases this year. There is evidence also to suggest that the Covid immunity level in individuals will benefit from being boosted.
Thus it is vitally important that we do all that we can to protect you, as soon as possible from both flu and Covid before the winter flu season takes hold. This is why we are offering dual vaccinations. You do not have to accept the vaccines at the same time, but this will delay your protection,
Studies have demonstrated that there are no safety concerns giving a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as a seasonal flu. Both the vaccines used in adults are inactive vaccines (not live) so can be administered safely, similar to other vaccination. For example, in the childhood programme up to 8 vaccinations are given at the same time and this actually improves the body’s overall immune response.
As with any vaccination there are expected after effects, which are part of the body’s natural response. These include:
While we recommend that people have both vaccinations at the same time, if someone prefers to delay on one of them for a short time, they can tell the vaccinator they only wish one and make a follow-up appointment for the other one.
JCVI (2021) JCVI interim advice: potential COVID-19 booster vaccine programme winter 2021 to 2022. Available: JCVI interim advice: potential COVID-19 booster vaccine programme winter 2021 to 2022 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
McNamara, D. (2021) Combining COVID, Flu Shots Appears Safe and Effective. Available: Combining COVID, Flu Shots Appears Safe and Effective (webmd.com)